Desoto, Texas (PressExposure) September 02, 2011 -- Celebrities will once again team up with local golfers for the fourth annual Celebrity Golf Tournament supporting the Heart of a Warrior Foundation (HOAW). To be held at The Tribute Golf Club in The Colony on September 12, proceeds from the tournament benefit HOAW's Young Warriors Summer Learning Program, an eight-week academic enrichment program designed to bridge the achievement gap and provide a safe environment for children who would not otherwise have access to quality summer programs. Popular sportscaster Scott Murray will serve as emcee for the event. Registration and additional information on the Golf Tournament is available at http://www.heartofawarriorfoundation.org.
The Celebrity Golf Tournament attracts more than a hundred golfers each year. Golfers will tee-off with high-profile players such as former Dallas Cowboys fullback, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame member and rodeo rider Walt Garrison, former Dallas Cowboys cornerback and four-time Pro Bowler Everson Walls and former NFL cornerback Mike "Scooter" McGruder.
"We are truly excited by the response and turnout for this year's golf tournament, and are especially pleased to see the local community come together to support this important cause," said Gail Warrior, CEO of Warrior Group and founder and chairwoman of HOAW. "Funds raised during this event will help support the summer learning programs, which provide opportunities for children to continue to learn and grow over the summer so they are not behind when they return to school in the fall."
Harris Cooper, an education expert affiliated with Duke University, has done extensive studies examining the methodology of learning in children. The Cooper study concluded that the average student loses about a month of progress in math skills each summer, while low-income students may slip three months or more in reading comprehension or similar skills. A second major study conducted by Johns Hopkins University concluded that low-income grammar school students fell nearly three grade levels behind middle- and upper-income kids, and that summer was the biggest culprit. The studies concluded that summer learning loss could be blamed for roughly two-thirds of the achievement gap separating income groups by the time the students reach ninth grade.
Even more importantly, Johns Hopkins University's Center for Summer Learning revealed that 60 percent of all parents struggle to find high-quality summer programs. This problem is compounded in low-income areas where students don't have access to the variety of enrichment experiences - such as attending museums, concerts and field trips -- which their more economically advantaged counterparts have. To combat this growing problem, Warrior founded HOAW in 2007 to help less advantaged children overcome the learning slump during summer.
According to Warrior, the summer learning program is staffed with trained professionals who provide hands-on instruction Monday through Friday for three hours a day during the eight week program. "Each child not only receives basic math, science and language instruction, but the program is also supplemented with field trips and enrichment experiences that help stimulate the love of learning." This most recent graduating class, for instance, participated in outings to the International Museum of Cultures in Cedar Hill, the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Dallas and the Fort Worth Science Museum and attended a performance of The Wiz at the Wyly Theatre in the Dallas Arts District. This year, the graduation at the end of the program was held on the SMU campus.
The Young Warriors Summer Learning Program costs approximately $1,000 per student; in 2011 the program served over 250 children at three Dallas-area locations.
The HOAW Foundation is funded solely by charitable donations gifted or raised through events such as the annual golf tournament. "We believe the Young Warriors Learning Summer Learning Program is an important program that will help bring opportunities for learning and growth to all students, regardless of economic status," said Warrior. "The funds raised will help support our mission of providing total enrichment opportunities to underserved youth."