Summer Vacation Is Here! – June 29, 2016
Summer vacation is here! Soon our children will be busy riding bicycles, taking trips to the beach or swimming in a neighbor’s pool. While summer provides a much needed break from the hectic school year for parents and children, it is still important that children reinforce what they learned in school during the summer.
Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club is committed to ensuring that the youth of our community excel academically, especially those who need us most. Each summer, our youth lose valuable reading and math skills. Summer learning losses can stack up from year to year, causing children to fall further and further behind, ultimately endangering their chances to succeed in high school. We want to make sure that our kids graduate on time with a plan for the future. That’s why we introduced the Summer Brain Gain program to our campers. This program, developed specifically by BGCA to combat “summer brain drain,” integrates learning into our daily schedule of summer camp activities.
Summer Brain Gain is comprised of one-week modules with fun, themed activities for elementary school, middle school and high school students. Each module takes a project-based learning approach: youth engage in a process of learning through discovery, creative expression, group work and a final project or production. As a result, kids develop thinking skills throughout the summer while staying on track for the coming school year.
Today most parents are aware of the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in academics and in future careers. Jobs in STEM fields are growing nearly twice as fast as other fields. Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club has embraced this new challenge and opportunity, by introducing programs that bring STEM into our Summer Brain Gain program. Now another development in education has brought the acronym STEAM to the forefront. STEAM encourages kids to integrate the arts in their study of STEM, keeping learning fun and creative.
Through STEAM this summer, our kids will incorporate drama and visual arts into their summer activities in addition to fun experiments and STEM projects. “Blending different disciplines is a great way to make science and other academic subjects come alive,” said Carlos Pumar, our Education Director. “We don’t have to teach in silos. We want to provide a well-rounded program that blends STEM and the arts, as well as fresh air and exercise.” After all, summer is a great time for kids to feel free to experiment and to be creative without the pressure of coming up with a right or wrong answer.” Reading together, our campers will have the opportunity to act out the story with their peers and use their imagination to express the narrative themes of the book. Who knew learning could be so much fun?!