Smarter Fun in the Summer
"Deprived of healthy stimulation, millions of low-income kids lose significant amounts of what they learn during the school year."
"Children with access to quality experiences keep exercising their minds and bodies at camp, on family vacations, in museums and libraries and enrichment classes."
“By the end of grammar school, low-income students had fallen nearly three grade levels behind, and summer was the biggest culprit ...."
-Excerpts from Time Magazine article "The Case Against Summer Vacation" July 22, 2010.
THE NEED FOR SUMMER LEARNING:
For far too many young people, summer is a three-month vacation from learning. This often means trouble when young people return to school in the fall. Research consistently shows that when youth take a holiday from learning during the summer months, they lose valuable academic ground.
Sociologists also have determined that family income is a powerful predictor for how much learning loss students experience during the summer months. While low-income students experience more than two months of loss in reading comprehension and word recognition, middle-income students actually experience slight gains in reading performance over the summer months. When reading and math performance are combined, children from low-income families lose over three times as much learning as their peers from middle-income communities during the summer months.
On average, low-income elementary school students experience the greatest summer learning losses. Studies also show that such losses are cumulative each year. By the end of fifth grade, summer learning differences result in low-income children falling more than two years behind their middle-income peers in verbal achievement and more than one year behind in math achievement. The cumulative effect of summer learning differences is a primary cause of widening achievement gaps between students of higher and lower income levels.
RESPONDING WITH SUMMER CAMPS AT THE CLUBS:
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston plays a powerful role in making summer a time for learning and developmental gains for youth. All 10 Clubs implement a summer program at that gives young people meaningful opportunities to practice reading, mathematics, science and creative arts skills on a daily basis. A centerpiece of the summer program involves implementation of high-yield learning activities (HYLAs) throughout the Club. HYLAs are fun Club activities that help young people apply in a practical way what they learn in the classroom. Here are a few events that occurred this past summer:
Junior Achievement BizTown- Club members practiced government, ran their own businesses, took on roles of producer and consumer, and payed bills to get a real taste of how the economy flows and each person’s part in making it all happen.
Weekly Field Trips- Club members visited places such as the Children’s Museum, Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Public Library, and the Houston Zoo.
Day of Service- All 10 Clubs organized their own club-specific project benefiting their Club and/or community.
Fine Arts Exhibition- Club members put their inner-visual artist on display through a demonstration of their painting, drawing, photography, and crafts.
Quiz Bowl- Club members were grouped in teams and compete in a fast-paced, trivia competition testing their knowledge of significant people, places and historical dates.
Talent Show- Club members displayed their talents in the performing arts including dancing, singing, and musicianship!
Science Fair- Club members demonstrated their knowledge gained during the Summer Science Blocks by becoming “mad scientists” and creating their own interactive science projects.
Career Expo- Teens learned about various careers paths by engaging in discussions a-la speed dating with a career panel to help educate them about the 21st century workforce.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
Click here to find out about volunteer opportunities for yourself and/or your company.
2012 Youth of the Year
Corinthia is a five-year member of the Brookshire Boys & Girls Club, which she describes as her home away from home. She says her Club has provided consistent support through the years as she was passed from one relative to another.
Even though she has been faced with adversity most of her young life, she has remaind determined to build a better life for herself. She graduated in the top 10% of her class in May from Royal High School. She has also been accepted to Texas A&M University where she will study to become a physical therapist.