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Summer learning academy
February 28, 2018
Better reading and math scores mean more Memphis students can attend this summer program
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson's Summer Learning Academy will be open to 10,000 students in almost 50 sites across the city.
December 19, 2017
Memphis to receive more state-funded summer reading camps than previous year
In all, Tennessee will distribute about $8.9 million to pay for month-long camps at 203 schools across the state aimed at combating summer slide.
October 13, 2017
In their second year, Tennessee’s summer reading camps show improved skills for some
While testing data is available for only half of participating students, those who were assessed grew in their reading accuracy by an average of 4 percentage points.
September 26, 2017
Most Memphis students who went to district’s first summer academy show early growth
Students in every grade level of Shelby County Schools’ first summer academy grew in math and reading skills over the summer months, district leaders announced.
July 24, 2017
Memphis leaders hope first-ever summer learning academies yield lessons about closing the achievement gap
The program wrapped up last week, with plans to track participants' academic performance in the upcoming school year to see if the experience made a difference.
Stopping summer slide
July 13, 2017
On National Summer Learning Day, Memphis takes stock of programs for kids
Mayor Jim Strickland estimates that 10,000 children and teens are being reached this summer through various learning programs.
May 16, 2017
Hopson floats year-round school as a possibility in Memphis
Leaders of Shelby County Schools are seriously considering a calendar change as a way to prevent “summer slump” and boost test scores.
Back to school
August 10, 2016
Why does Tennessee start its school year so dang early?
In recent years, students have returned to school earlier and earlier in August, with some districts now starting in July.
'A wondrous time to learn'
July 26, 2016
How a free Denver Public Schools camp seeks to stop the summer slide
Schoolchildren in Denver can spent part of their summer at a free camp where they'll have fun and learn while preparing for the coming school year.
July 19, 2016
New York City students who read on iPads last summer got better at reading
Hundreds of New York City middle schoolers who read books online last summer became stronger readers — even if they might not have said so themselves.
Stopping summer slide
May 17, 2016
Twelve summer reading programs share Tennessee’s inaugural literacy grant
As part of a larger effort to lift lagging literacy rates, the Tennessee Department of Education names recipients of a $1 million grant for summer reading programs.
August 7, 2015
The not-so-secret ELL summer slide problem that no one has quantified
English learners may have a deeper learning loss during the summer than their native-English speaking peers. But there’s no broad data that proves this.
July 20, 2015
A growing summer camp aims to start Memphis’s teacher pipeline earlier
The summer children's camp is designed to get kids excited about learning — and to recruit potential educators to Memphis to work one day as classroom teachers.
July 9, 2015
Some 50 years later, Freedom Schools cultivate literacy and cultural roots
In the tradition of the historic Freedom Schools in Mississippi in 1964, today's Freedom Schools are equipping children to read and become better citizens.
June 23, 2015
Effort to embed literacy classes in summer camps explodes in Shelby County
The collaborative program aims to boost the proportion of Shelby County students who are reading on grade level—and keep them from sliding further behind over the summer.
June 28, 2013
City schools struggle to connect students with summer options
Lettie Edgerton says it's a struggle to keep her granddaughter Kyndal busy over the summer. Jovani Nias’s 21 years as a mail carrier in Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn has given her unique insight into how families in the neighborhood spend the year. Now that school is out, she said, differences among families even in the same building are even more obvious. “You see some kids leaving for programs or summer school, and the other kids are just out, hanging on the corners," Nias said. Which direction a student takes over the summer can change the course of her education. Researchers have pegged students’ academic regression — known as the “summer slide” — as the equivalent of two months of school or more. Students who are occupied in summer learning are more likely to sustain their progress from the previous year. But whether city students can avoid the summer slide is often a matter of luck, depending largely on how their school’s approach to summer learning and their family’s access to information that schools don’t always provide. “There are opportunities that are invisible in my community that are more visible in other communities,” said Sheryl Davis, a Brooklyn parent. “We all have that conversation, what are you kids doing this summer? And I find that a lot of schools do not help with that.”
July 9, 2012
Schools that build summer "bridges" for students pay a price
Ninth-graders at PTECH work on algebra problems in May. On a muggy August afternoon last year, nearly 75 Bronx students could be found playing orchestra instruments to the tune of Duke Ellington's C Jam Blues in the auditorium of M.S. 223. They were gathered to mark the close of three weeks of arts, music, and math instruction they received through the school's first summer "bridge" program. M.S. 223 is one of dozens of city middle and high schools to invite to incoming students for summer classes meant to immerse them in school culture and prevent them from forgetting what they learned the previous year. "Summer bridge is important because we think of our model as a year-round school," said Rashid Davis, principal of Brooklyn's nascent Pathways in Technology Early College High School. "That way we’re not dealing with that summer learning loss than can go from two to four months of material, especially for high-poverty students. We can't expect them to magically come in here with the skills they need." Indeed, researchers have pegged students' regression — known as the "summer slide" — at the equivalent of two months of school or more. City officials recognize the challenge: This summer, the Department of Education is piloting a small program in the South Bronx for students who are struggling but not failing. But the funding for that program, Summer Quest, comes from private donors. Public funds, for the most part, are earmarked only for the thousands of students across the city who are required to attend summer school because of low test scores or poor grades. That means schools that develop programs for incoming students who aren't already in trouble are on their own to scrounge up funding.
July 5, 2012
City's summer program launch gets an endorsement in research
PHOTO: Tajuana Cheshier/Chalkbeat TNFrancesca Martinez, left, and Alexis Noa participated in the city's Summer Youth Employment Program in 2008. Summer break gave way to the world of work for tens of thousands of teenagers today with the start of the city's annual youth employment program. Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis Walcott kicked off this year's employment season today at Queens Botanical Gardens, which is employing 35 of the 31,700 youth enrolling in summer work or training programs. The city's Summer Youth Employment Program has long been a model for other cities trying to keep teenagers occupied and productive during the dog days of summer. New Yorkers between the ages of 14 and 21 are selected by lottery to take on seven-week paid internships with community organizations. Since the city's Department of Youth and Community Development took over the program in 2003, SYEP participants have also received educational programming about health, career, college, and financial literacy. Participants don't have to be enrolled in school, but those who are reap academic benefits, according to a team of New York University researchers who followed 2007's SYEP 36,000 applicants in grades 8 through 11 through the following year. In a policy brief released today, the researchers conclude that students randomly selected for SYEP positions attend, on average, two more days of school the following year than students who applied for SYEP jobs but were not selected. The benefits were even larger for students who had been frequently absent in the past and larger than that for students over 16 who had attended school less than 95 percent of the time in the previous year, the researchers found. Those students took and passed required Regents exams in math and English more often than students who had not been picked for SYEP.
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