The morning started with a free bus ride and breakfast, the most important meal of the day some would say. A morning of high-quality reading and math instruction followed before students ate lunch and headed off to their afternoon adventure. Whether it was learning about robots, doing yoga or exploring nature, students were able to experience activities that challenged their minds, while having fun all at the same time.
This may not sound like your typical summer school, but for kids in Jackson County, summer school has truly become a Summer Adventure that keeps kids and parents wanting more. Evaluations of Jackson County’s Summer Adventure 2017 had a clear and consistent message: students learned, had fun, and both students and parents hope the program is offered again next year.
“Students are excited to attend Summer Adventure and look forward to the afternoon enrichment activities,” said Patty Schmidt, principal at Easton Valley Elementary School. “We’ve seen great growth in students who’ve attended the program.”
For the second year in a row, Summer Adventure has provided students in need of additional reading support with targeted instruction and hands-on enrichment over the summer months. During a time when students typically lose some of the skills that they had gained during the school year, data from Summer Adventure is showing the exact opposite. During the 2016 pilot program, 76% of students maintained or increased their reading proficiency and in 2017, 72% maintained or increased.
Summer Adventure is the product of a network of organizations who work together year-round to make the program happen. Elementary school principals from the four communities in Jackson County and two parochial schools meet throughout the year with community team members to collaboratively develop the program, write grants and create plans to securing funding, and collect and analyze data.
Summer Adventure couldn’t happen without the support of local community members and organizations including the Community Foundation of Jackson County, the McDonough Foundation, Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto, and local community members Dave and Penny North.