Parents provide tips on ways to prevent summer learning loss - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Parents provide tips on ways to prevent summer learning loss

MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) -

Summer break may only be a couple months but that's long enough for some students to forget much of what they learned.

Studies show children not involved in summer learning activities tend to lose some math and reading skills. They also face an increased risk of negative social behavior.

From your basics like mathematics, reading and science to public speaking and music, the YMCA's Power Scholars Academy aims to expose at-risk children to opportunities and enrichment.

It may be summer vacation but parents say their students can't take a vacation from keeping their minds active

“I've taken up iPads, I've limited TV, cause we know that if they go back to school and they haven't done anything in the summer time then they lose about two or three months,” said parent, Maisha Hambrick.

That two or three month loss is called summer learning loss and parents like Hambrick say putting academics on hold is simply not an option.

“Fourth grade is a tough grade for some students so it's very important that he's up where he needs to be when he goes to fourth grade,” said Hambrick.

To close the achievement gap, parents and teachers have a simple suggestion.

“I would recommend that parents read with their children nightly, similar to what we ask them to do during the school year for a minimum of 20 minutes,” said parent and teacher Tracillia July. July suggests letting children pick their own literature to add some fun to the summer season.

Teachers also suggest utilizing free online programs to avoid a backslide in August.

If parents do not take simple steps at home to engage their children and help them retain what they learned during the school year, one teacher offered up a common scenario, come August. “A lot of the kids are not at the same level so they have to teach to the kids that have the least amount of knowledge or remember the least so I'm sure it makes their jobs much more complicated and challenging,” explains Power Scholars Academy STEAM Teacher, Tyler Brown. Brown likes to utilize the curriculums from “Engineering is Elementary” http://www.eie.org/.

Instead of challenging the teachers in the new school year challenge your children this summer.

Thanks to academic summer camps like the Power Scholars Academy, students who are under-performing at the start of the summer should gain at least one month of grade-equivalent skills over the course of the program.

125 students from the 36108 zip code are on track for the upcoming school year.

For more information on the program contact Darryl Woods, YMCA Senior VP of Community Development at 334-221-0687.

To participate in the state's Summer Learning Challenge, info can be found here: https://www.alsde.edu/sec/comm/Pages/summer-learning.aspx

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