School may be out for the summer but parents and caregivers are working to ensure their kids don’t fall victim to the summer slide, a summertime lapse in learning.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over summer vacation. Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains.
Summer vacation can be a serious stressor for parents who are trying to think of inventive ways to entertain and keep their kids on track for academic success. I know, when I was kid, my mom took my sister and I to our local library to sign up for their summer reading program as soon as the final school bell rang.
Now, as a public media protector, I get to be a part of a community of public television stations that provide innovative local programs and services to help parents.
If you’re a PBS parent, you know public media stations are a trusted resource for scientifically researched programming. But, did you know that by providing supplemental resources and training for teachers and parents, stations also help kids succeed in the classroom? Many go a step further and host community events and provide localized resources to help local kids stay on track not only during the summer months, but all year long.
KBTC Public Television teams up with community partners to provide summer learning opportunities for children in Tacoma, WA. In partnership with Metro Parks, KBTC hosts the Ready To Learn Mobile Technology Lab in the park three days a week- all summer long! Students learn math and literacy skills as they play educational computer games starring their favorite PBS KIDS characters.
In Pittsburgh, PA, WQED and Winchester Thurston School are partnering to provide smart.squared, summer camps for students in grades Pre-K – 6, based on popular PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! Shows. Programs focus on numerous topics including: art, science, paleontology, cooking and nutrition, engineering, Spanish language and culture, reading and writing, animal behavior, and even superhero journalism just for girls!
AETN, in Conway, AR, provides interested families with AETN KIDS Club, an educational monthly newsletter filled with information about special children’s programs, family activity ideas, book suggestions, upcoming events, healthy recipes, contest and more. In cooperation with the Little Rock Museum of Discovery and their “Mad Scientist” Joel Gordon, AETN also produces the STEAM Laboratory YouTube channel. Arkansan early learners can watch videos that focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math by conducting experiments in fun new ways.
These are just a small sample of the innovative, trusted resources local stations provide to communities nationwide to ensure kids in their communities are sprinting into their classrooms come September, not slipping behind. Visit your local station’s website to see what they are doing to address your community’s early educational needs.