LAWRENCE – The Kansas Enrichment Network and the YMCA of Greater Kansas City will highlight the importance of summer learning opportunities at a special event this week at Bentwood Elementary School in Overland Park.
More than 100 youths will participate in learning projects, including making seed biscuits, decorating kindness rocks and hunting friendly neighborhood spiders. Students also will hear from elected officials, including State Sen. Lynn Rogers, about the importance of democracy as the culminating event to their civic engagement unit. The event will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, July 13.
Led by the National Summer Learning Association, National Summer Learning Day is an advocacy day aimed at elevating the importance of keeping all kids learning, safe and healthy during the summer. Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put the nation’s youths at risk for falling behind – year after year – in core subjects like math and reading. The math and reading skills low-income students lose each summer are cumulative and contribute significantly to the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youths.
A survey conducted by NSLA indicated that two-thirds of teachers said they spend at least a month reteaching students old material when they return from summer vacation. Twenty-first Century Community Learning Centers funding supports summer learning programs across Kansas.
“Ensuring our children are engaged and learning during the summer months must be a national imperative,” said Matthew Boulay, NSLA founder and CEO. “Studies show that leaving kids unattended during the summer — without any programmed activities — is detrimental to their education and health. These effects are particularly pronounced among poorer kids, whose parents work long hours and simply don’t have the money to enroll them in summer programs.”
The Kansas Enrichment Network, housed within the Center for Public Partnerships & Research at the University of Kansas, works to ensure that all Kansas youths have access to safe, affordable and high-quality out-of-school time learning.
The mission of 21st Century Community Learning Centers is to promote student achievement and prepare students to compete on a global scale. Specifically, the program targets high-poverty and low-performing schools that may need extra support.