The achievement gap between low- and high-income students is 30-40 percent higher for students born in 2001 than those born 25 years earlier, according to the National Summer Learning Association. The stigma of summer school is changing as experts find that summer learning losses continue to divide opportunities between low- and high- income students and that students can’t afford to unlearn knowledge every summer as our world standing in education continues to slip.
A strong focus for summer learning initiatives is on low-income students who don’t have the same summer learning opportunities afforded to their peers from higher-income families, causing them to be at a perpetual disadvantage at the beginning of each school year. However, summer learning loss isn’t exclusively a low-income problem. All students who don’t exercise their math skills over the summer lose about 2 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills. Low-income students are more likely to also lose 2 months of reading achievement, while their more affluent peers improve (NSLA).
This summer, LifeBound held a series of summer workshops for students in middle school through high school who attend school in Colorado Springs and Jefferson County School District. Scholarships were given to outstanding students to attend the week-long training. Class titles included: Critical and Creative Thinking: Becoming an Effective Coach, Problem Solver, and Decision Maker and Success in Middle School: How to Make a Great Transition for students in 5-9 grade and Critical and Creative Thinking and Mastery of Leadership: Leading in College, Career, and Life for high school students.
Students in Jefferson County are finishing up their last week in their summer workshops this week, and we look forward to hearing about all that they’ve learned. We will continue posting student reflections on our LifeBound student blog over the next few weeks. Today we have three articles by our talented middle school attendee of the Critical and Creative Thinking workshop in Colorado Springs, Keegan. Just one tidbit he took away:
You don’t have to do something great to be a great person. Whether you create a cure for cancer, or invent some socks that never smell, the thing that makes you great is your attitude.
Next week we will have some more articles from our high school students who attended the Leadership course.
Read Keegan’s blogs:
- What I Learned at LifeBound’s Critical and Creative Thinking Summer Workshop
- Using Critical and Creative Thinking Skills In and Out of the Classroom: A Student Reflection
- What I Learned About Teamwork and Leadership in LifeBound’s Summer Workshop