21st Century Summer Camp
This week, Wayne County's 21st Century Program started summer camp and activities for students who will be in grades three through eight when school starts in the fall. Every summer, students have enriched their minds with creative activities including a wealth of topics to choose from like: competitive cook offs, literary events, drama productions. exciting field trips, and physical training.
This summer, the 21st Century Summer Camp will be a bit different because it is being blended with a customized summer school that will help students get caught up that experienced learning loss during the pandemic. While the teachers did an outstanding job delivering virtual learning this past school year and some students' preferred online learning, overall there is no substitute for in-person learning. So, the district has created a unique summer school experience at every school building to help compensate for learning loss. The program provides students with meals and transportation to help overcome any obstacles.
21st Century Director Katherine Kidd said, "I think summer programming is important, but then again I'm an educator. I have done this for years and I can say - this is Wayne County data talking - not national data. I have seen the students who participate in summer programming gain as much as two grade levels in reading and that's not making them sit and read for hours a day. Mostly it is them being read to and following along and doing activities where they have to read like making a recipe or something like that."
Kidd continued, "Parents often tend to think that summer programming or 'summer school' means sitting at a desk for seven hours a day and that IS NOT THE CASE. Students are actively learning, they are going on field trips, they are listening to guest speakers, they are busy creating, playing hard and learning to hone their interpersonal communication skills. Most kids are sad to see our summer program come to an end."
"This summer is a bit different in that there will be more focus on academics especially with the students who fell behind this past year, but there will still be time for team building activities, field trips, guest speakers and ways to make it fun. Hands on activities are still offered and work continues on getting along with our peers."
There is something called "The Summer Slide" and tons of research has been done. Kids who do not keep their minds actively engaged can actually lose ground academically. It has been proven that they can lose up to 6 months to a year of academic ground. That's why teachers always have to review for about three weeks to try and get everyone where they should be. All you have to do is Google it and you will find tons of research on it.
Kidd continued, "Like I said I did research on my own with the kids I have had down through the years and all my kids either gained ground or stayed the same - none of them regressed."
Kidd says she is always surprised by how many kids have never been out of the county - never been to Lexington - Louisville - never been to Frankfort to see our state capital. Those sweet, sweet, dear little people need nurturing. They need filling with wide-eyed wonder and mind stretching experiences so they will learn and connect ideas and realize what a wonderful world there is waiting for them out there. This helps shape them and allows them to wonder and think about things - allowing them to learn and grow.
Wayne County will be doing something at all levels this summer with the help of COVID relief funds handed down. Walker Elementary will be doing a program for incoming pre-school students. Bell Elementary is doing summer programming. Monticello Elementary is doing credit recovery, special camps, and 21st Century programming. Wayne County Middle School is offering credit recovery, and 21st Century programming and the high school is also offering summer programming.
Summer reading programs at the public library and an Aspire Center schedule have also been made available to parents for them to have things for their children to do this summer.