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Connecting Students, Battling the “Summer Slide”

By Samson Patton | May 27 2014

1044238_10151761041992578_1343100445_n.jpgBy Samson Patton

Too many of my students aren’t aware of the awesome summer opportunities available across our community, and Teach For America – San Antonio saw an opportunity to change this.  Through the first-annual Spring into Summer Fair, we are bringing together 17 community organizations to connect  students and families with free or reduced-cost summer learning experiences to help ensure that students retain and build on everything they learned in the last school year, and will be ready for a successful first day. On Wednesday, May 28th at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., 17 organizations will be providing resources and information on different summer camps and activities for students and families, as well as information for families about important issues our communities face from immigration and health screenings to college applications and food assistance.

Research shows that a lack of access to summer learning opportunities can result in a loss of academic progress made during the school year, often called the “summer slide.” This disparity can widen the opportunity gap between low-income students and their more affluent peers and have lasting consequences as they progress through school. Making sure we address this summer slide will help us work toward reaching SA2020 goals for world-class education in San Antonio, such as making sure incoming third graders maintain their reading levels over the summer to increase our community’s overall third grade reading scores.

Information on summer opportunities will be available from Westside YMCA, San Antonio Children’s Museum, Avance, UTSA Interactive Technology Experience Center (iTEC), Café College, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Venture Lab, Girl Scouts, and Girl Zone.  Additionally, information on services from San Antonio Food Bank, San Antonio Immigrant Youth Movement, Baptist Health System, Center for Legal and Social Justice and Family Violence and Prevention Services will be available.  Broadway Bank, BBVA Compass Bank and Jefferson Bank will also be present, offering information to parents about how to start a college savings account for their children.  There will also be a mariachi band, a concession stand, and other activities for everyone to participate in.

Spring into Summer is an opportunity for families and students to find a meaningful way to spend their summer and create a passion for something that we hope will carry over into the next school year. While the summer is a nice break from school, it is also a great time to prepare for next year and engage students so they can be successful once fall comes back around.

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Samson Patton

Samson Patton is a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher at Tafolla Middle School. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 and majored in Psychology and Political Science.

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