Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What I Did On my Summer Vacation

I found this at the Couriercritic.blogspot:

"Sunday's story in the P & C about goody bags given to about 22,000 elementary children in CCSD surely is cause for hope. Nancy McGinley took the initiative to follow through on a suggestion from a school volunteer!

"The bags contain a day-to-day calendar of suggested activities for children to do with the help of their parents, such as "think of all the words that describe your family and make a poster of family words" or "name a food that starts with each letter of the alphabet."
"The bags also include: a list of locations and phone numbers for the free summer meals programs, a brochure for the Charleston County Public Library summer program and library card application, summer journal writing ideas and educational Web sites. Individual schools are invited to add information to the bags such as media center hours and reading lists. . . . The district also plans to partner with the library to put together summer materials for middle and high school students."

The idea-person, "Willette Dennis-Wilkins, the North Charleston resident and school volunteer who gave McGinley the idea for the bags, said she's wanted the district to take on this project for nearly a decade." "

I had passed on an abbrievated suggestion to Carla Santorno after attending one of the educational forums that was at Roosevelt. As I may have mentioned before, I was at a table with Phil Brockman, High School Director, Ruth Metzker, Middle School Director, Rosalyn Wise, district math supervisor and a couple of other district staffers. A parent said her son experienced a drop-off in skills in the summer and what could she do? Their answer? Read.

I wrote to Carla and said this complaint wasn't something new and couldn't the district send home a sheet to every elementary and middle school child (at least) with suggestions of what to do over the summer to keep their skills up. I like the idea of putting down library locations and information about their summer programs. This can't be that hard to do. It'll be interesting if anyone here reports getting something like this coming home on the last day of school.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention this. I've been curious as to whether my kindergartener's teacher was going to give us such information/suggested activities, etc. etc. Based on what she has given us week to week this year, I fully expect this will be the case. I'll let you know if I am right .

Charlie Mas said...

This is a great idea. It directly addresses a significant source of the academic achievement gap, it gives families the tools they need to support their children's education, and it is dead cheap.

I would include a calendar of Seattle and King County Public Library events for kids, teens, and families and the discount days at museums and education exhibits (zoo, aquarium, etc.). There could be a list of businesses that offer free tours of their plants, coupons for discount bowling (math skills used to keep score), and lots of ideas for activities such as meal planning, which can use math skills, reading skills, logic skills and creative skills to put together a set of balanced meals.

amy said...

I just read an article on this very topic, "Summer Learning: Prvecnting Regression" in the latest WA State PTA magazine. There are simple and fun suggestions for math, reading, writing, and science. I was planning to make copies and send it home to all of our families from the PTSA.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:59 -

My hope is that you'll speak with your kindergartner's teacher and offer to assist - much like Amy is doing spreading the wealth with the PTSA info.

Melissa - have you heard back from Carla on your suggestion?

Let's also not forget the Seattle Public Library's reading challenge - perhaps it can be persuaded to offer up some of these suggestions in a phamplet and/or web based format.

Perhaps SPS could offer this up on the web as well as boxing an advertisement on the web opening page - RESOURCES FOR PARENTS!

I love the education I get on this website - thank you all.

Leslie

Anonymous said...

Leslie,

I do assist my daughhter's kindergarten teacher already - 3 hours per week in the classroom as do several other parents. She is an excellent delegater and has tons of help from parents, so I am sure that she will delegate what she feels is easy to delegate which frees up time for her to do what is more difficult to delegate.

I will mention it to her though and offer my help - I'm not sure how I can help for something like this though other than making copies of things since she is the expert in terms of curriculum.