[R76] Rep. McNamara: Summer enrichment programs vital for students (5/1/2012)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Start Date: 5/1/2012 All Day
End Date: 5/1/2012
Summer enrichment programs vital for students

In a few weeks, the final bell will sound signaling the end of another school year with our kids setting their sights on summer activities. They relish the reprieve from the rigors of learning and enjoy time spent outdoors. While summer is a wonderful time, as an educator, I worry that students will have “brain drain” from not keeping their minds actively engaged.

According to study by John Hopkins University’s School of Education almost all school-age children experience annual academic slide to some degree upon returning from summer vacation. To combat this, students must continue to engage in brain stimulating activates during the summer months. Southern Indiana has a multitude of summer programs and camps designed to keep students engaged and having fun at the same time.

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) offers Super Summer Enrichment weeks. The program consists of two one-week sessions, held June 11-15 at USI and July 16-20 on Evansville’s east side. Children from pre-school to 9th grade can enroll in morning, afternoon or all day classes. In years past, classes have focused on art, science, forensics, robotics, world cultures, cooking, and technology. Brochures will be available in early May; to be placed on the mailing list for Super Summer, call 812-464-1989 or email outreach@usi.edu.

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation has a free two part Summer Experience for elementary students who need additional academic help. The morning is educational programming, and the afternoon programing is in conjunction with the Evansville Parks & Recreation Department. During this time, students will participate in traditional summer activities with some special adventures too. For more information, contact your child’s local school.

Exploring 4-H is an enriching program tailored to K-2 students that promotes hands-on learning. This is a year-round program and is free of charge to all Posey County students. For more information contact Cheven May, Posey County 4-H Youth Educator at 812-838-1331.

The University of Evansville has a residential summer camp for high school and middle school girls to explore careers in engineering and computer science through interactive projects and fun activities. The camp exposes girls to the many facets of science and engineering. Space is limited, so it is better to apply early. For more information, call Tina Newman at (812)488-2651 or email at tn2@evansville.edu.

This is just a couple of the summer camps and programs available in our community. The Mesker Park Zoo has a great summer camp as well as Burdette Park and the Children's Museum of Evansville. Keeping students engaged and learning during the summer months will ensure that they return to school in the fall ready and able to learn new material.