- By Donna Lasinski on May 29, 2013
I am following a gift of my heart that has set me on an exciting journey.
As a parent and PTO president at Haisley Elementary, the Title I school attended by my three sons, I created a summer learning program to support students, parents and families over the summer break.
I began my journey when I noticed kids who were on target in reading by the end of Kindergarten were starting 1st grade behind in reading. JP*, a friend of my oldest son Alec, stood out in particular. As the years in elementary passed, JP fell further and further behind every fall. And I noticed that this was a consistent pattern with my younger sons’ friends.
I could not understand it. I volunteered in the classroom and saw JP working and learning, so why was he falling farther and farther behind? I did what my education has taught me – I dug into the research.
For the last hundred years – 100 YEARS!! – researchers have know that students lose 2-3 months of school year learning over the summer. The first study in 1906 was confirmed again in 2006 – kids simply cannot maintain their skills without practice over the summer.
Frankly, it made me mad. How could we know about this for 100 YEARS? Where are the partnerships between schools and families to return students to school with same skills they left with? How could we leave all that learning at the school door?