Innovative Summer Learning: K-12 Schools Partner with University

For kids, the long summer days pose many opportunities for having fun with friends, relaxing, and watching TV. Unwinding from the stresses of the school year is an important use of summer time, but so is providing kids with learning opportunities to keep their brains engaged and ready to enter the next school year strong.

Too often, students, especially in low-income areas, aren’t involved in a summer learning program. Not because they are opposed to summer camps, workshops, or internships, but because of the limited opportunity, accessibility, and affordability of summer learning experiences in their area. Since many families and their school districts don’t have the financial resources to provide summer programs, other people, organizations, and institutions that value summer learning are stepping in to create innovative ways to get summer learning experiences to those who need it most.

This summer, Metropolitan State University of Denver is partnering with Denver Public Schools by offering a college philosophy course for high school students. During the traditional school year, many high school students choose to dually enroll in high school and college courses, giving them early exposure to college but adding pressure to their already busy schedules. This summer enrichment program gives students the same college experience as those who are dually enrolled, but at a time of the year where they can focus on the college experience and absorb what it is like.

As we continue to demand more of our students, new grads, and new hires, we need to support them with accessibility to learning that will help them get through high school, pursue college, and ultimately land a job. When families don’t have the resources to personally provide a summer learning opportunity for their children, K-12 leadership, community support, and partnerships between K-12 systems and universities need to lend a hand. Not providing learning opportunities to our students is not an option.

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