Getting and keeping your kids on track academically has always been a challenge. Throw in a worldwide pandemic and a wholesale move to virtual learning for more than a year and the desperation for our kids to go back to school to reconnect with traditional learning is strong.
But waiting for the fall may be a mistake. There needs to be learning in the summer. A survey by the online tutoring platform Wyzant found that “43 percent of tutors said they believed the pandemic was causing learning loss among their students, nearly one-third surveyed said they believe some of their students will never catch back up and 78 percent said their students who are studying remotely need the most help.”
But Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) and The Children’s Trust are committed to getting kids ready for a return to class and that means having them learning in the summer. The two launched the Summer 305 Adventure initiative to make free summer camps accessible to tens of thousands of children (as many as 65,000 are being considered compared with a tenth of that on a normal year) who might not ordinarily join a summer camp and are in great danger of learning loss.
As part of the initiative, more than 400 M-DCPS teachers will visit over 300 camps regularly to provide tutoring and get kids learning ahead of their return to in-person schooling. “We have a lot riding on this promise and it’s a promise and a premise based on need,” Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of M-DCPS told the Miami Herald. “This is our way of, quite frankly, kickstarting the 21-22 school year.”
“As well as giving children a productive and safe venue to enjoy themselves, this year’s summer camps will focus on literacy and other activities to counteract learning loss resulting from the “COVID-19 Slide,” said James R. Haj, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust.
Visit summer305.dadeschools.net or www.TheChildrensTrust.org/SummerCamps (which includes an interactive map specifying camps for elementary, middle and high school students) for more information on how to sign up for one or more of hundreds of camps in different areas and with different themes.
Getting your children into one of these fun camps is an ideal way to boost their academic progression without having to sit them down every day and force them to read or do math worksheets, although it is a good idea to do that on occasion as well.