The Medford Boys & Girls Club, part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County, announces its summer learning loss prevention strategy for its summer camp.
When school doors close for the summer months, many youth and families living in Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County’s (BGCMC) communities face multiple, interrelated challenges. Learning loss, safety concerns, risk for obesity, and food insecurity all set children back developmentally and academically. Many children do not have the freedom, resources, or access to experience the stimulating aspects of summer through the safety and direction of camps and vacations. Instead, many are left inside and inactive, at home caring for younger siblings or wandering the community looking for activities without guidance or supervision. As such, BGCMC summer programming supports year-round learning that is critical to youth’s preparation for transition to the next grade level in the fall.
“Summer learning losses can stack up from year to year, and our children can fall further and further behind, ultimately endangering their chances of high school graduation,” said Lindsay Smythe, Executive Director. “We are committed to ensuring that Medford’s youth, especially those who need us most, have access to a fun, enriching summer camp experience, and that they are prepared to enter school in the fall with decreased anxiety around learning and improved confidence in their abilities as a student.”
“When left unaddressed, the “summer slide” worsens the reading achievement gap between rich and poor children, and this detrimental effect is compounded over the years. Two-thirds of the ninth grade reading achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years. “Cooper, H.; Nye, B.; Charlton, K.; Lindsay, J. and Greathouse, S., “The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores: A Narrative and Meta-Analytic Review
BGCMC’s summer programming is designed to prevent the “summer slide”. Summer Programming will help help youth broaden their horizons with experiences they likely would not otherwise have, by providing access to activities and opportunities that encourage growth in interpersonal skills, academics, physical ability and leadership. Programming addresses the four key areas where youth stand to regress over the summer: physical activity, leadership and communication skills and academics. Staff combine national programming offered through the Boys & Girls Clubs of America with other curricula and field trips to meet each camper’s academic, physical, cultural, emotional, and social needs. Using a project-based learning approach, campers will engage in a process of learning through discovery, creative expression, group work and a final project or goal achievement. With activities like “The Science of Amusement Parks” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Club” youth will have a chance to develop a love of learning in a hands on, low stress environment.
Support is needed to ensure that all young people have access to BGCMC’s summer programming. While the organization carefully plans expenses and programming to keep rates as low as possible, many families need additional resources to ensure their children have a safe, enriching and meaningful summer. Each year, local residents and businesses step up to donate to our Summer Campership fund so that we can provide financial aid to families who struggle to afford even our modest camp fees. A $150 donation supports one camper for one full week of summer camp. Donations to our Summer Camperships can be made via Pay Pal at our website, www.kidsclubs.org, or send via check made out the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County Attn: Summer Camperships, P.O. Box 269, Somerville, MA 02143.
Families interested in signing up their children for our summer programming may also find more information on our website www.kidsclubs.org under “Summer Camps”, or can reach out to their local Clubs directly. Medford Club (781) 391-3619, Cambridge Club (617) 491-2194, Everett Club – Teens Only (857) 363-2611. We do not run summer programming in Somerville at this time, but all of our programs are open to any Somerville youth.
- Submitted by Medford Boys & Girls Club