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The Importance of Summer Learning

The Wallace Foundation states, “[S]ummer learning programs have the potential to help children and youth improve their academic and other outcomes. This is especially true for children from low-income families who might not have access to educational resources throughout the summer months and for low-achieving students who need additional time to master academic content. However, summer learning programs are often an afterthought of school districts or not offered at all, especially in restrictive funding environments.”

We are very fortunate to live in a community in which our school district, local nonprofit organizations and our community supporters see the value in summer learning opportunities. Many of our Georgetown County Out of School Time (GCOST) Collaborative organizations have the privilege of offering summer learning programs to the students they serve during the school year.


Carolina Human Reinvestment Success

One such program is Carolina Human Reinvestment (CHR), located on Brick Chimney Road, in Georgetown. Allyson Banta, CHR’s Program Director wrote, “We began the summer with our Amachi Mentoring Bike Club Kick off event at the Georgetown Housing Authority. Momentum Bike Club of Greenville joined us for four days of cycling, mentoring, and fellowship. This was definitely one of the highlights of our summer. The Georgetown County Police Department donated over twenty bikes to help get our bike club started! Not to mention, Captain Waites and several other officers came out to join us as well. We have also cycled along the Waccamaw Neck Bike Trail! Our bike club and tennis clinic (at Stables Tennis Center) continued every Friday throughout the entire summer.

“We also partnered with Beck Recreation Center for our Summer Enrichment Program, which was valuable time spent with the youth. We had special guests and business leaders from the community join us for yoga sessions and self-­‐confidence workshops, while also working on academic skills and summer reading!”


Teach My People Success

Across the bridges in Pawleys Island, Teach My People (TMP) also had a successful summer program. We had an average daily attendance of 70 students from first grade through senior year of high school.

Each morning students worked for two hours on math, reading and science. In addition, our students participated daily in 30-­‐minutes of individualized swim classes, with free swim in the afternoon.

This summer TMP was able to strengthen two existing partnerships: The “Lowcountry Food Bank’s Summer Feeding Program” and the Georgetown County School District. The Food Bank provided us with a nutritious, fresh and home cooked meals (with the help of TMP kitchen volunteers) for breakfast and lunch. The Georgetown County School District extended their summer learning opportunities by providing training and curriculum for the TMP instructors.


We Are Not Done Yet

Even though it is starting to get chilly, vacationers are gone and our students are back at school, our organizations are not done with the summer. This past month GCOST Collaborative members have partnered with the Georgetown County School District to form the “Summer Slide Collaborative.” This group plans to explore the collective impact of our summer programs to decrease the effects of “summer slide” (i.e., the loss of academic achievement levels during the summer). We will be meeting with the school district over the next few months to decide what data to collect, what factors seem to most strongly affect summer learning, and what curricula might be useful in our summer programs. While this past summer was great, we are looking for an even brighter educational experience next summer for our students.

 

Eric Spatz

Executive Director

Teach My People