+ Help Kids Make the Most of Summer!

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From the Johns Hopkins School of Education, which sponsors the “Center for Summer Learning,” some information:

  • All young people experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational activities during the summer.  Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer.
  • Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.  Low-income students also lose more than two-months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.
  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.  As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
  • Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer.  Most children — particularly children at high risk of obesity — gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school durning summer break.
  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure their children have productive things to do.

 Numerous studies show that summer learning opportunities improve academic outcomes for youth.  Early and sustained summer learning opportunities lead to higher graduation rates and better preparation for college.  Summer programs have also been shown to positively affect children’s self-esteem, confidence, and motivation.

High-quality summer programs keep students engaged in learning, teach them new skills, and allow them to develop previously unseen talents.  They allow children to form relationships with caring adults, help them stay fit and active, and foster creativity and innovation.

What parents Can Do to Keep their Kids Sharp

  1. Locate some kind of summer program.  There are high-quality summer camps and programs in almost every price range.  Schools, recreation centers, universities, and community-based organization often have an educational or enrichment focus to their programs.  Think about establishing one yourself!
  2. Visit the library.  Find out what interests your child and select book on that subject.  Participate in free library summer programs; make time to read every day.
  3. Take educational trips.  These can be low-cost visits to parks, museums, zoos and nature centers.  When you’re planning your vacation, consider places with educational possibilities.
  4. Practice math daily.  Measure items around the house or yard.  Track daily temperatures.  Add and subtract at the grocery store.  Cooking is a chance to learn fractions.  Everyday experiences can be fun and interesting, while giving kids opportunities to learn the skills they need.
  5. Get outside and play.  Limit TV and video game time, just as you do during the school year.  Intense physical activity and exercise contribute to healthy development.
  6. Do good deeds.  Students learn  better and “act out” less when they engage in activities that aid in their social-emotional development, such as community service.
  7. Keep a schedule.  It makes sense to continue daily routines during the summer and to continue to provide structure and limits.  The key is providing balance and keeping kids engaged.
  8. Prepare for fall.  Find out what your child will be learning during the next school year by talking with teachers at that grade level.  Preview concepts and materials over the summer.
  9. Find out more at www.summerlearning.org .

 The Mission of Johns Hopkins School of Education “Center for Summer Learning”

The Center’s mission is to create opportunities for high-quality summer learning for all young people.  Based at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, the Center is committed to expanding summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children and youth as a strategy for closing the achievement gap and promoting healthy youth development.

The Center trains over 2000 summer program providers annually, reaching more than two million children each year.

What you can do to help:

Become a program provider.  Visit www.summerlearning.org.  

Get the word out and use the research.  Reach out to funders, decision makers, partners and the media; share the research to demonstrate the need for and effectiveness of high-quality summer learning opportunities.  

Enlist support from community partners.  Host meetings to discuss how you can work together to support young people in your community during the summer.

Parents should demand more options for and better access to high-quality summer learning programs from local leaders.  In addition, help to pass legislation that make summer learning programs a priority.

Sopris West’s Summer Reading Camps: One Possibility for Your Community

Sopris West’s Summer Reading Camps are concentrated four-to six-week programs that have been shown to significantly improve the reading skills of elementary and middle school students across the country.  The camps are for students who will enter grades 2-6 in the fall.

Working just three hours a day for six weeks, Summer Reading Camp students have raised their reading levels significantly, as measured by the Word Identification section of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test.  Every aspect of the Summer Reading Camp is classroom tested and based on the most effective up-to-date instructional information available.  Materials are research-based, and instruction is explicit and sequenced.

Teacher trainings are held for two days before your Summer Reading Camp Classes begin.  There are three separate trainings — one for teachers of the primary grades (grades 2 and 3), one for teachers of the intermediate grades (4,5 and 6), and one for teachers of middle school (grades 6,7 and 8).

Summer Reading Camps have been successfully held in many places, including Montogmery, Alabama, and Kent, Washington. 

Contact B.J. Wise, Director of the Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative, at 800-547-6747 (ext. 300), or email bjwise@sopriswest.com .

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021   or email   aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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