The College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University has big plans over the next few months to curb a phenomenon called the “summer slide,” which addresses the learning regression students experience during the summer months. The lack of a consistent schedule, access to learning materials, and peer engagement has proven to be detrimental to the ongoing success of many children.
Dr. Emily Cantrell, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture, and Co-Director of the Texas A&M Reading Clinic says that there are lots of ways to keep children actively reading during the summer.
To beat the summer slide, she recommends parents check out free resources on the web, like readingrockets.org and adlit.org, which she says are full of reading-related activities and ideas.
“The benefits of reading with, or engaging with your child in a reading activity for just 20 minutes a day are enormous,” she says.
“This is especially important during the summer so children don't regress in their reading development. Some of the most important things parents can do for their children in terms of reading is to make reading enjoyable and valued - read things that are of interest to the child, talk about what is read, and model an appreciation of reading.”
"The benefits of reading with, or engaging with your child in a reading activity for just 20 minutes a day are enormous" - Dr. Emily Cantrell, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and CultureTweet This
Texas A&M University is offering a variety of educational programs to keep children engaged in various fields this summer:
AGGIE STEM CAMP
In collaboration with the Dwight Look College of Engineering, the College of Education & Human Development will host a series of Aggie STEM Summer Camps. This is the sixth year since the program’s launch and it is expected to be a big one with the introduction of the Governor’s STEM Camp- Aggie Academy for STEM champions during June 7-13. Middle and high school students will take courses led by Texas A&M professors, graduate students, and faculty in a wide range of STEM subjects. Students have the option to stay on campus, and participate in various extracurricular activities outside of academic courses. For more info, visit: http://aggiestem.tamu.edu/aggie-stem-summer-camp-options.
CHINESE & KOREAN CULTURAL AND LANGUAGE EDUCATION CAMP
The college will also offer a free summer program for Chinese & Korean cultural and language education, which – according Dr. Zoreh Eslami, co-director of the program – will provide children an opportunity to engage in intensive language immersion.
On the importance of such language programs, she says, “Due to globalization and its impact on international relations and national security, the value of learning a second or foreign language has become critically important. The advantages of learning additional languages surpass the individual learner and extend to the society and broader community.”
This intensive language and culture program runs from June 2-26 and will be held at Pebble Creek Elementary School in College Station free of charge.
While academics serve as the leading issue in the Summer Slide, some students also see a decline in their physical fitness and overall health. During the academic year students are actively moving around from class to class, as well as engaging in activities like recess, physical education programs, sports, and other school-wide events. A child’s diet changes with their schedule. Low-income students often lose a meal, or two during the summer months.
Camp Adventure allows children the opportunity to get some hands-on expertise in outdoor and physical activities like archery, canoeing, tumbling, and other recreational games. It can assist in keeping children active during the long and sometimes stagnant summer months. By teaching children new skills, their curiosity and thirst for knowledge is quenched even though they are not actively attending school. Camp Adventure is set to take place June 1-June 12 and is open to the public. For more info, visit: http://campadventure.tamu.edu/.
According to Daniel Gomez, program director, more than 100 campers attended during the summer of 2014 and, this year, campers will participate in nearly a dozen different activities.
“Camp Adventure is an exciting learning experience you will not want your child to miss,” says Daniel Gomez, program director.