Education column: Education opportunities available during summer

Unbelievably, another school year is gone and kids are out for the summer. Suddenly without a structured environment, it takes us a moment or two to get our balance for the summer months. Working parents juggle schedules, and older kids are looking for summer jobs. As educators, there is always concern over the summer about losing ground in student learning during those summer months and having to make it up at the beginning of the following school year.

Marshall Middle School offers the Marshall Summer Literacy Program with required activities for the seventh- and eighth-graders to support literacy, good readers and to ensure that as little ground as possible is lost over the summer … and to focus on how reading is fun. Also this summer at Marshall, the Kitten Math Camp will be held from June 6 through July 1. Educators at Marshall wrote and were awarded a grant by the CMS Education Foundation to fund the math camp for students struggling to reach grade level in their math skills. In this small group setting, math becomes fun, with all sorts of real world examples and fun activities.

Yucca Middle School also has a summer reading program. From their summer reading book lists, students can share what they’ve read in a variety of ways, such as preparing a television or radio broadcast of the story, writing a business letter to a librarian to convince them why they should add that book to their collection, creating a comic strip telling the story and many more creative ideas.

Also at Yucca, a group of educators wrote and were awarded an Education Foundation grant last fall for a late summer event called “Putting Your Best Foot Forward.” This will be a day — Aug. 18 — designed for all sixth-graders who will be attending Yucca in the fall as seventh-graders. Students will bring their schedules (which they picked up on Aug. 8) to YMS and receive their welcome package that includes a Yucca t-shirt and lots of other goodies. There will be food and fun as students explore the school and meet all of the Yucca teachers and staff and find out how middle school works.

Educational summer activities for kids and families abound on the Internet. Scholastic’s “Have an A+ Summer” includes lots of ideas, like summer scrapbooking, “camp stay-at-home,” tips from librarians to keep kids reading all summer long and more. Check them out at www2.scholastic.com/browse/collection.jsp?id=98.

KidSource Online also provides lots of activities, many broken down per grade level, that can be found at www.kidsource.com/education/summer.activities.art.html.

“Activities for Kids” (www.activitiesforkids.com/summer/calendar.htm) offers summer activity ideas, with “fascinating places to visit on the Internet with 15-minute, kid-friendly activities” for parents and children.

Regardless of your summer activities, have a great summer and think about carving out 15 minutes a day to read with a child.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at cindy.kleyn-kennedy@clovis-schools.org.