Some parents and teachers want children to be able to ‘play’ all summer and just enjoy themselves. But research tells us that when children, even young children, are not engaged in educational activities in the summer they can experience a drop in their academic skills. This is what the experts call the ‘Summer Slide’. Fotunatley, the ‘Summer Slide’ can be avoided by providing children with ongoing learning opportunities throughout the summer which allow children to continue to be successful each school year.
This summer, 24 Guiding Stars of Duval rated childcare centers worked with the Jacksonville Children’s Commission’s (JCC) Early Learning Coaches to provide high quality learning experiences for the children in their care, ages birth to five. All the centers chose a ‘Summer Learning Unit’, which was developed, planned and written by the Early Learning Coaches at JCC. Each unit was aligned with the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards: Birth to Five and current research. The choices were The Forest, Around the World in 35 Days! and My Big Backyard. Teachers and directors from each center attended a training put on by the Early Learning Coaches at JCC where they shared instructional strategies and activities. A total of 98 teachers and directors attended the four Summer Learning Unit trainings.
Children in each center participated this summer in many learning activities including making s’mores, studying forest animals, playing in camping tents, learning about children and customs from other countries, watching plants grow and many more. These activities allowed the children to learn and have experiences about new things and encouraged them to continue to be curious and inquisitive about the world around them.
The centers participating in these Summer Learning Units have made a choice in the best interest of the children they serve to not just ‘play’ all summer but to have solid learning experiences where children continue to learn and master the skills they need to be ready to enter school and enjoy academic success.
Click here to view pictures of the exciting learning activities children participated in this summer!