In Their Own Words

“Having an education-focused after-school program where parents can be assured their children are both safe and learning would be a significant benefit for many families. In the end, it is the students who will reap the rewards. Although programs like this should primarily be paid for by those who use it, a dedicated funding source is needed to establish any after-school program. Parents must do their part, but school districts and the government agencies that fund them must rethink how they view school’s role. Educating children doesn’t start and stop when the school bell rings.”
—“After-School Programs Key to Education,” Ironton (Ohio) Tribune editorial, July 29, 2012

“Children who don't have stimulating summer experiences forget more of the math and reading skills they need to do well in school. By the time summer ends, the achievement gap between rich and poor is actually wider than it was in June. So, is summer school the answer? …At a time when 20 percent of districts across the country have eliminated summer school, Providence has redirected its summer remediation funds and is trying something different. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders spend two mornings a week in the field with an instructor from a local organization like Save the Bay and a teacher from the district who ensures that students are practicing skills they struggled with during the year and will need in the fall. In the afternoons, it’s back to the classroom.… Students worked collaboratively in the field and then applied what they learn back in the classroom to solve complex problems. This is what educators call deeper learning. The Summer Scholars program is a partnership between the school district and 30 local organizations like the zoo, the YMCA and the Audubon Society. Public schools often work alone, but Providence has been building these relationships for years.… The obvious goal of the Summer Scholars is to curb summer learning loss. But this way of teaching might change the way Providence schools approach teaching and learning all year long.”
— Correspondent John Merrow, “Providence Summer Scholars,” PBS NewsHour, August 20, 2012

This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 13, Issue 8).

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