The Times West Virginian


June 5, 2014

Summer offers many chances for students to continue learning

When the school bell rings for the final time this afternoon, students in the area will likely greet its sound with ear-to-ear grins and shrieks of excitement.

Today is the last day of school in Marion County before the start of summer vacation.

While we certainly appreciate the idea of summer break and the opportunities it provides in terms of more family time, warmer weather and fun activities, we also know these next several weeks can have a significant impact on the information students retain.

The National Summer Learning Association estimates that most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months, and research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer break than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.

But that shouldn’t be the case. Simply put, a break from school shouldn’t mean a break from learning.

And fortunately, summer offers plenty of opportunities for students to continue learning, even if it’s not in a classroom.

Students can attend a camp specifically geared to their interests, whether it’s music, academics or sports.

Or they can use their time away from school to participate in summer reading programs or simply catch up on the latest books from their favorite authors.

Even family vacations give students the chance to learn, and they can find out interesting facts about the places they’re visiting.

There are other ways to ensure learning as well. Parents can set up a nature scavenger hunt or arrange tours of local manufacturing plants. They can also encourage their children to keep a summer journal, and they can plan day trips to museums or state parks.

There’s even a special day set aside to encourage the continued quest for knowledge during the summer months. According to America’s Promise Alliance, Summer Learning Day is observed each year on June 20 and serves as a national advocacy day to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning to close the achievement gap and support healthy development for youth nationwide.

We hope students enjoy their summer break this year. But we also hope they continue learning, even through these summer months.

Text Only
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