Children, especially from low-income families, can lose reading and math skills during vacation so schools are offering summer camp-style programs.
In North Hills, CA, at a place called Camp Akela, kindergartners are keeping their young minds fresh for the upcoming school year at Noble Avenue Elementary Schools. Other students will be studying volcanoes, creating travel journals, learning to dance the hula and even playing in a portable pool. But the students, most of them low-income English learners, are also learning literacy, math facts and science and are honing writing skills with “coaches” dressed in tropical shirts and grass skirts.
From The Los Angeles Times:
Melding education with typical summer fun, the program is part of a statewide campaign aimed at combating a growing problem known as the “summer slide,” the loss of academic skills during the vacation months. Decades of research, including a new study by the Rand Corp., has documented that children lose two to three months of reading and math skills while on break and that the problem is particularly acute for lower-income children with limited access to travel, museums, libraries and other enriching experiences.
Studies have found that the cumulative effect of summer learning loss during the elementary school years accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower-income students and their more affluent counterparts by ninth grade.
“There is a real disparity in summer learning opportunities for children in disadvantaged communities,” said Steven Wirt of the Partnership for Children and Youth, an Oakland-based nonprofit promoting the Californiasummer learning campaign.
“We want to be sure these kids are not subjected to this devastating summer learning loss. It becomes exponentially detrimental as students move through their academic careers and later on in life,” he said.
A survey conducted by an education advocacy group for after-school programs, found that 1.8 million California children participated in summer learning programs last year. They also learned that an additional 3.2 million wanted to enroll. In addition, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has launched a $20-million, eight-year summer learning initiative aimed at reaching 100,000 children in 10 regions throughout the state. Foundation spokesman Jeff Sunshine said the grants are aimed at providing
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