Posted on 06/22/2017 at 08:57 AM by YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Summer is a time for fun and relaxation, but it doesn’t mean that kids’ brains go on vacation.
Keeping youth fully engaged throughout June, July and August can prevent what educators refer to as summer slide. This common phenomenon refers to the loss of math and literacy skills when young minds are not engaged outside of school. In fact, youth can lose up to three months of these skills during the summer, which means their back-to-school performance is behind where they ended in the spring.
Summer slide is especially common in low-income communities where access to reading materials is more limited. Organizations from across the country have risen to meet this challenge through the creation of innovative, evidence-based summer learning loss prevention programs that work to eradicate the achievement gap and help all youth have the #BestSummerEver.
As youth development staff and volunteers, we believe that all children have potential and that it is our responsibility to nurture this potential so that all kids, regardless of household income, can achieve success in school and in life. Summer learning loss efforts make us truly responsive to the diverse needs of our community.
Don’t have a summer learning program at your YMCA or school? That’s OK! Here are four great ways to keep kids learning and growing all summer long:
Combining beloved summer fun with engaging learning keeps youth interested and engaged all summer long, so they return to school in the fall on track and ready to learn more.
What are you doing in central Iowa to stay engaged? Show us your summer learning in action! Tweet your pics @DesMoinesYMCA #BestSummerEver #CloseTheGap.
Content by Sara Cole and YMCA of the USA; Sara Cole is the senior vice president of program development and innovation at YMCA of Greater Rochester and serves as an achievement gap fellow for YMCA of the USA.