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Preventing the dreaded 'summer slide' for students

Preventing the summer slide is even more crucial this year because of interruptions caused by the pandemic.
Credit: 13 OYS
Elementary classrooms have individual desks, all spaced at least 6 feet apart.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — While it may seem like the beginning of a new school year is still very far away, the dreaded summer slide is still a very real possibility. Luckily, there are programs available at schools, and even things parents can do at home, to help avoid the slide. 

The summer slide refers to the halt in learning kids experience during the summer break and the achievement gap this can create, especially for younger children.

“It just means that kids learn more when they’re in school, during the session, and in the building," said Monecia Vaisvinder, Three Oaks Public School Academy principle.

Some schools like Three Oaks Public School Academy in Muskegon offer programs like project focus.

“We work with the kids after school and in the summer and we work with academic support as enrichment activities," said Roxanne Stacey, program coordinator at Three Oaks Public School Academy. 

Preventing the summer slide is even more crucial this year because of interruptions caused by the pandemic.

“I think as long as the kids are having fun their more engaged and they want to learn. So, we’re going to give that to them in different ways so they thrive, so when they’re ready for school again they’re ready to go in the fall," Stacey said.

Project focus keeps kids motivated while giving them experiences they normally wouldn’t have during the school year.

Educators say there are things parents can do at home to prevent the summer slide, too. 

“Just setting up some simple schedules at home, getting some bedtime set, looking at the device usage, and just being an example to learning. Reading with your kids and so there are different things that they can do at home just to help make it less anxious," Vaisvinder said.

Other suggestions include visiting local museums, parks, and traveling for a vacation, which encourages children to research the area they’re visiting.

Project Focus is just one of the programs offered by a local school district, and there are many others. You can apply for it beginning in the fall.

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