University program, faculty experts helping to keep kids in school shape during annual break.
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Summer’s here and the time is right, as Martha and the Vandellas informed us, for dancing in the street. It’s also the time for beaches, ballparks and blockbusters – any pursuit of unbridled joy one can imagine.
But for school kids, summer doesn’t have to be a time of backsliding and undoing the progress achieved in the just-passed school year. Lesley University has the faculty experts, as well as a six-week program, to combat children’s seemingly inevitable “summer slide.”
The key is to identify where they have interest or passion and match it,” Professor Margery Staman Miller, director of the Language and Literacy Division of Lesley’s Graduate School of Education, recently told the Boston Parents Paper. She suggests departing from the traditional required summer reading lists. Instead, empower children to seek out books of their own choosing in the nearest public library and encourage them to share their impressions of what they’ve read.
In addition, free, online books are available for download or online reading for anyone with access to an Internet-connected computer. Project Gutenberg publishes many children's classics such as Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. Parents may also download free e-readers at Amazon.com and access a growing collection of free children's e-books.
Other suggestions include summer “field trips” to the Boston area’s abundant museums and historic sites, identifying towns’ and cities’ summer enrichment programs for kids and even boning up on math skills during trips to the supermarket, with impromptu lessons on packaging quantities, unit pricing and percentages. And don’t overlook the backyard or flower box as a natural laboratory for budding botanists!
“The current school calendar – nine months with summers off – was designed to meet the needs of an agrarian society. Considerable evidence, however, suggests that it’s just not enough for today’s students, who need to be prepared for the demands of an extremely competitive global economy,” says Professor Marcia Bromfield, director of the Field Placement and Professional Partnerships Division. “We’re committed to preparing young people for the future while still letting kids be kids, so we’ve worked with the Cambridge Public Schools System to create Summer Compass, an affordable – and fun – program that has reached up to 200 students each summer for more than 30 years, reinforcing their academic learning and helping them maintain their skills during the summer recess.”
The program bolsters reading, writing and mathematics skills in small group and classroom settings and offers one-to-one reading tutorials for a group of students who would not ordinarily have access to this level of academic support during the summer. Students also work with a technology specialist and library assistant on developing curriculum projects and on enhancing their high-tech skills. Students also have opportunities to participate in field trips that support the curriculum and that extend their academic experience.
Find out more about how Lesley University helps prevent the “summer slide” and helps parents and caregivers keep kids in school shape all summer long.
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