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Summer Camp

Students have suffered a great loss of learning during the pandemic. First there was remote instruction, followed by hybrid learning. Low income students and those who have disabilities suffered more than others. The number of kindergarten students well below the benchmark in early literacy skills grew from 28% to 47% during this time. Unfortunately, there is a disproportionate number of black and hispanic students in this category. 

Summer Camps Can Be Enriched to Provide One-on-One Learning

Summer school and summer camps can be enriched to help make up for this loss of learning. They offer an opportunity to provide one on one contact with these students. It is also an opportunity for university education majors to get experience trying out effective teaching methods. Teachers can increase their understanding of techniques and bring them back to the classroom. 

They Can Use Evidence-Based Tutoring Programs

Summer programs can offer one-on-one tutoring for these students who use research-based techniques that can increase the literacy of students. The summer break is long enough to make sure that these children make real progress if they receive this type of instruction. This is being tried in New York City, and undergraduate students at Brooklyn College, a CUNY school, get training in Reading Rescue, which is an evidence-based program to help young readers. They are able to tutor young children as part of their coursework. 

Summer Programs for Dyslexic Students

Summer programs also provide an opportunity to help dyslexic students get ahead. There are already examples of programs that work, such as Camp Dunnabeck in rural Connecticut. They offer evidence-based reading instruction that helps these students learn. They also have social-emotional learning, art, sports, and an hour of tutoring. This type of program can be achieved in public urban programs. They can offer day camps run by community-based organizations. They can also offer teachers and staff scholarships to be trained to provide this specific type of tutoring. This type of program can improve the literacy of struggling students.