School may be out, but the work continues for many charter schools throughout New York and Connecticut! These schools are putting in overtime to beat the summer slide, offering an extended school year and/or programs aimed at keeping students engaged as the temperatures rise. See how New Beginnings Family Academy in Bridgeport is giving a “boost” to literacy this summer!
Dressed in shorts and colorful tank tops, the scholars entering New Beginnings Family Academy in Bridgeport may look slightly different than when school’s in session. But that doesn’t mean the learning stops once the temperatures rise!
That’s because NBFA is helping to beat the summer brain drain by bringing back its Summer Boost Academy, but with a new twist for 2017.
In the past, NBFA’s summer program consisted of a two-week, multi-subject academy that was open to all. But according to Quentin Ball, Chief Strategy Officer at NBFA, this less-targeted approach resulted in lackluster attendance and outcomes that were more difficult to quantify.
Instead, she says this year’s six week academy was designed specifically to promote literacy outcomes for students entering grades 1-3 who could benefit from the extra attention the program provides.
"The goal is to provide that support and help for the students who need it," she says. With small groups of four to six scholars paired with highly qualified literacy teachers, scholars are certainly seeing the benefit of the program.
On a recent visit to NBFA, we saw this program in action! A small group of students was practicing reading fluency by reciting poetry, and later, these scholars used their literacy skills to practice writing and creating a menu which would then be prepared in the classroom’s plastic "kitchen."
Meanwhile Kelis, a young scholar participating in the program, sat and read Arnold Lobel’s "Small Pig" as she drew a collage depicting all of her favorite parts of the book.
Kelis told us that "Small Pig" was her favorite book, and that her favorite part of participating in the summer program was "all of the reading!"
Inspiring that love of reading is what it’s all about, Ball says. And through creative and fun activities that promote literacy, that love is guaranteed to flourish as the summer progresses on.
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