For many children, summer is a time of fun and a break from school. However, summer can also lead to “learning loss” for many students. Studies show students score lower on standardized tests after summer than they do before. It is also reported that students lose approximately two months in math computational skills over summer vacation. Several organizations and schools are working to prevent summer learning loss by taking advantage of the summer months to extend students’ learning and ensure that they start school ready to learn! By participating in unique summer learning programs, students develop new skills, explore interests and get hands-on experience.
When designing summer programing, organizations should consider and address many issues, but the five most important are listed below:
- What: What will the summer program consist of? Programs vary from creative-writing programs to language-immersion classes; what is your organization passionate about and how can this learning opportunity show that?
- Where: Where will this summer learning program occur? If it’s a program that teaches students about microbiology, have it in a biology lab! If it is a program teaching students about creative writing, perhaps a computer lab or library would be most beneficial.
- Why: Why should students and parents pick your summer learning program versus another? Be sure to establish the added benefits that your program offers and highlight these in all marketing materials.
- Who: Who will be the target audience for your summer learning program? By picking an age group, it will be easier to establish a beneficial curriculum and structure your program. For example, a program for elementary students should look very different than for high school students.
- How: Finally, how will this summer learning program be implemented? This is the “nuts and bolts,” of the summer learning program. What is the duration of the program? Who are the staff and what training do they need? What are the recruitment efforts? Who are community partners to help deliver the program?
Today, summer programs are truly taking advantage of the coveted summer months to build in learning through play. As a result, more and more students are able to have a fun summer through various enrichment experiences that help them explore their interests and ensure that they are on track to start the school year ready to learn.
If your organization is looking to implement or modify your summer learning program, contact Transform Consulting Group today. We can help you assess your current program, review the latest research, and design or retool your summer program.