News Updates

MDOC Enrichment Camp Stems the Summer Slide

Published on June 19th, 2017

By Steven Axberg, Education Director

Summer is quickly approaching. That means vacations, Fourth of July, and the beach. For many children, it also means getting not having to wake up at 8 a.m. every day to head to school.

Education professionals also enjoy our summer breaks, too, but we don’t like to see the toll a lack of time in the classroom takes on our students. Each fall, teachers will spend roughly six weeks getting their students back in the swing of things once the school year starts again. They also will encounter academic regression.

Studies have shown that this regression, often called the “summer slide,” can vary depending on grade level, subject, and family income. In math, students can experience up to 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency loss. For reading, the loss varies across socioeconomic status. Lower-income students generally lose about two months of reading achievement over the summer. A study by Ohio State University also shows that the gap for lower-income students grows each year.

These findings are part of the reason for our focus on literacy during our Summer Camp. We examined the data for the reading levels of the students enrolled in the Margaret Donnelly O’Connor Education Center after-school program and camp. Students who regularly attend our after-school program and summer camp on average saw measurable gains in reading level (red bar in graph) while the students who didn’t regularly participate in our after-school program and/or experience our summer camp (blue bar in graph) saw a decrease in reading level over the summer.

We are extremely proud of the effectiveness of our academic program, particularly because we know our students will be more confident at the beginning of the school year. We also introduce some of the new material our students will see in the upcoming school year. These academic gains offer our students a more sure footing with the new material they will be learning. Our goal is to erase cyclical poverty through education thereby ensuring a brighter future for all of our students.

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