Summer Matters: Students and Summer Learning
6/2/2014, 11:25 a.m.
By TIM GOLER
CEO and President of
HBCU Preparatory Schools Network
HBCU Preparatory Schools Network is pleased to support the Call and Post and its celebration of young people who have achieved academic excellence featured in this issue. Change agents in our communities begin with education and each of these students has the promise to influence positive change for our community. Summer matters in the success or failure of our students. Key to our student’s success however is avoiding summer setbacks.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, summer learning loss is the loss in academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation. The loss in learning varies across grade level, subject matter, and family income. A common finding across numerous studies is that on average, students score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of summer (on the same test). Summer loss for all students is estimated to be equal to about 1 month, but this varies across subject matter: Mathematics - 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency loss and Reading varies across Social Economic Status. Low income students generally lose about 3 months of reading achievement. Several scholars have argued that Black students lose more ground over the summer.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of continuity in the lives of urban children, youth and families. One of the biggest challenges confronting our school age population is the 'break down' of the nurturing structure, daily consistency and healthy stimulation that is maintained by a good school. If the summer structure does not continue these components, the student falls significantly behind their peers academically, socially and emotionally - making for a poor re-integration into school in the Fall. Summer may seem like a short amount of time, but academically it represents 1/3 of an academic year. To lose 3 months out of a school year can be devastating for a student.
Summer Learning, whether in summer school or part of a summer camp, is essential to ensure students don’t fall behind in their academic progress. One way to accomplish this goal is to attend the HBCU Prep Schools summer camp which offers a Summer Learning and Sports Camp for youth in grades K-7. In collaboration with Swoosh Camps, youth will experience a variety of fun sports clinics ranging from flag football, basketball, baseball, soccer and more. In addition, campers will receive academic tutoring and enrichment to continue building upon their academic progress made during the school year and help struggling students meet Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
Summer programs like HBCU Prep’s are one of the smartest things a student can do over the summer. Doing so helps to address a multitude of issues particularly in the African-American community by ensuring children have access to academically enriching activities, combats food insecurity among children by providing nutritious snacks and meals (which are especially important during the summer months when schools are out of session) and providing working parents with peace of mind knowing that their child is in a safe and supervised space during the out-of-school hours. HBCU prep school's summer camp is intentionally created for children throughout northeast Ohio to provide a fun, safe yet mentally stimulating summer for children.