The First Step: Haisley Summer Learning Program

Haisley Summer Learning Program

Using research, state academic standards, and all of the insights from teachers, parents and kids, I commandeered our kitchen table and began working on the Haisley Summer Learning Program. It was now December and I was determined to have a program ready to roll for May 15 for every student in my childrens’ elementary school.

Over the next 5 months, to the chagrin of my family, our kitchen was covered in papers,

drawings, test worksheets and innumerable scraps of paper. Slowly, the grade level workbooks began to evolve. Using grade level content expectations, academic standards, and Microsoft Word and clip art, the first version of the Summer Learning Books was born!

Kids enjoy learning

I excitedly tested the books with teachers and students. I incorporated their feedback into the next revision. I shared the books at a PTO meeting and heard loud and clear from parents – We need a summer book too! Back to the kitchen table I went, creating the Parent Guide to Summer. Parents wanted not just extra math, reading and writing activities, but also parent-to-parent tips about summer activities and an opportunity to learn about the impact of summer learning loss on their students.

Finally, the program was ready. I assembled a booth for the annual Spring Ice Cream Social. With a poster board proclaiming “STOP Summer Brain Drain”, I handed out free Parent Guides and told parents about the workbooks their students would be receiving the last week of school. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Parents were excited and wanted to know how they could come together over the summer to work together on keeping skills fresh. And the Summer Playground Sessions were born! The last week of school, 2009, the Haisley Summer Learning Program was launched to the smiles of kids, with gratitude from the parents, and with high expectations from the teachers.

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