For most children summer means sleeping in, spending time with friends or playing sports and enjoying school being out. But summer vacation doesn’t mean kids should stop learning. Research indicates that 58% of the gap between all students and those in poverty can be attributed to summer learning loss or as some refer to it, the “summer slide.” In fact, students can lose between two and three months of achievement in reading and math, while more affluent students actually make slight gains. For many young people, “summer slide” contributes to long-term gaps in achievement, employment and college and overall career success.
In partnership with the Oldham County Public Schools, the Oldham County Health Department and the Oldham County Library, Metro United Way launched a new neighborhood pilot out-of-school time (OST) program this past summer targeting a community in La Grange, Kentucky where students are at risk for summer learning loss. This collaborative learning program called Summer of Science (SOS) served 42 rising third through sixth grade students and provided learning curriculum with individualized math, literacy skills and science concepts. SOS also included a peer mentorship program where older students served as mentors to the younger students, focusing on the development of leadership skills. Transportation, breakfast and lunch were provided, removing barriers for students to participate.
“I think SOS was fantastic because it helped me learn science, math and other educational stuff in the summer,” said Brayan, a 4th grade student. “It was cool to use our hands doing experiments and building structures to solve real world problems!”
We’re proud to work with our community partners in the seven counties we serve to help ensure children have high quality educational opportunities available to prevent summer learning loss when school is out, keeping them on track for success in life!