Summer Learning Day Inspires Innovative Ways to Showcase Summer Learning

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Safe Education and Recreation for Rural Families Expanded Learning Program

Kids in the Safe Education and Recreation for Rural Families summer program in Red Buff, California, do STEM and literacy projects, culminating in a trip to the Tehama District Fair.

Young and old readers of “Charlotte’s Web” won’t soon forget the trip that Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig made to the fair.

On Thursday, kids in an after-school program in rural northern California will head to the Tehama District Fair to reinforce their reading of “Charlotte’s Web,” expand their science knowledge, have a barrel of fun and celebrate Summer Learning Day.

Summer learning programs around the country are celebrating their impact with Summer Learning Day events — more than 600 events in 41 states, according to the advocacy organization National Summer Learning Association.

The Safe Education and Recreation for Rural Families Expanded Learning Program in Tehama County, known as SERRF, will send all 950 of the kids it serves to the fair.

They’ll see a pig race, meet farm families, tour the livestock barns and watch livestock judging.

The program is located in Red Bluff, a town of about 14,000 in the middle of a beef cattle and walnut-producing region.

For more information about Summer Learning in Out-of-School Time, go to Out-of-School Time Hub | Summer Learning in OST

The expanded learning program serves elementary and middle-school kids at five sites. Many kids are Latino; some are the children of seasonal farm workers in the area.

“All the age groups have been exploring livestock” as part of their STEM curriculum, said Lisa Hardwick, lead facilitator for the program in the Tehama County Department of Education. Second- and third-graders have learned about the importance of the animals and have read both fiction and nonfiction about them. Older students have researched groundwater pollution and the effect livestock has on groundwater.

The fair will also feature a STEM Expo. SERRF has partnered with Tehama District Fair and other organizations, including the state Cattlemen’s Association and Shasta College, to organize the event, Hardwick said.

Summer Learning Day intends to convey the message that children need access to high-quality summer learning experiences to help them succeed, according to the organization’s website. The National Summer Learning Association is focused on closing the achievement gap between low-income and affluent youth by increasing summer learning experiences.

Here’s a sampling of the diverse ways summer learning programs are celebrating and bringing awareness to their impact:

  • In Toledo, Ohio, kids will crowd into the south branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library to see Bright Star Touring Theatre present a high-energy comedy, “Upcycled Cinderella.” The show is wacky, stimulates creativity and is packed with “character education,” according to Bright Star. In the evening, the Washington branch of the library will host the show.
  • Kids will come to the Wood Valley Boy & Girls Club in Clearwater, Florida, for the Milk and Bookies Book Swap, where they will bring books to swap, munch on cookies and milk, and craft bookmarks for their new books.
  • A Little Free Library will go up in San Antonio at Good Samaritan Community Services. More than 350 kids in the Good Sam Summer Learning Program will be present at a ribbon cutting for the lending library.

A list of events across the nation can be found here. Summer learning programs can add their events to the list.