HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s the middle of the summer.

But at Morgan School in Holyoke, kids are in the classroom, trying to get a leg up on the next school year.

“I’m hoping to learn how to subtract big, big numbers,” said Third Grader, Dexter Williams.

The Connections Summer Academy is a month-long summer program, funded by a federal grant that supports after school and summer programs.

Kids from third to fifth grade were at the Morgan School participating in this summer learning program. It was created to help improve students’ skills in math, reading, and writing, and prepare them for the next grade.

“When you keep on learning during the summer, that means when you go back to school that means, you wont forget any of the information your teachers taught you during the school year,” said Third Grader, Ivana Rivera.

The program also offers classes for STEM and physical education. According to new research, students in low income communities face a greater risk of falling behind in summer months and have less access to enrichment opportunities. Holyoke wants that to change.

“That’s going to keep our kids on track for success, not just their grade, but also graduation, college, and career,” said Ron Arpin, Director of Holyoke Public Schools’ Enrichment and Extended Learning.

Arpin told 22News there are summer programs in the city for kids from pre-k to high school. They are on pace to serve about 20 percent of the students in the Holyoke Public Schools this summer.