As summer 2020 gets underway for my three teenage girls, thoughts for me drift towards what students and children are supposed to do for the next nine weeks. Under normal circumstances, summer would be a stay-at-home break from school, but who needs yet another stay-at-home day of what has been the norm for the past 100 days? How will kids stay positive about learning and be ready to face the start of the next school year mid-August?
Summer slide is the term used to refer to children sliding backwards (from reading and learning) when out of school for the summer break. COVID slide is an inevitable extended super-slide, that began mid-March, that will set many of our young learners back, as they have not all been able to maintain steady reading and virtual class time.
How have the past three months been for you and your household? Have your kids kept up the good fight to complete projects, homework assignments and kept up with the Zoom calls with teachers? Our girls fared well to begin with, but as the weeks clicked over, there interest seemed to wane… a lot.
The ELL students we serve have honestly not fared too well overall. Despite their best efforts and intentions, parents just could not sustain connections to teachers and keep their kids occupied. Many obstacles lay in the way.
We also surveyed our persistent volunteers to find out how much contact they had managed to maintain with their student. It’s been hard to provide help and encouragement from the awkward distance, week after week.
This summer, we conduct some literacy and enrichment activities. Not virtually but at a distance, if you know what I mean. Some of the same as in the prior years, but also another new adventure of an away overnight camp to the mountains for kids, to be joined later by their parents and younger siblings.
If a normal summer of learning loss is upon us, this year is going to be more challenging, and not so normal. Social distancing and PPE will dictate some added guidelines and fun activities. This summer, we are also recruiting out-of-work parents to help with crafts, cleaning and cooking.
If you’d like to volunteer as an intern, or volunteer your high school or college student, please connect with us through our website link or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make the best of the new normal and cheer on a student near you. Let’s reverse the COVID slide and get kids ready for another year, together.
June 27 2020