Avoiding summer brain drain

State education leaders want to see test scores up next year, and summer months can mean a loss of learning for students. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning wants to make sure kids avoid "summer brain drain."

"Research shows that in some cases, and especially with children from low income families, learning loss can be significant over the summer and even costs them as much as two months in grade level equivalency," said Laura Evans, standards coordinator at the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Evans helped create "Do it Yourself Summer School."

"It's just a quick activity that parents can do everyday that will help sustain that learning throughout the summer months. So you've got Math Monday, you've got Writing and Reading Wednesday, Thinking Skills Thursday," said Evans.

There are lots of inexpensive, creative things families can do like making a scavenger hunt and practice drawing shapes and writing with chalk. That's something Lashelle Hawthorne, mother of three, already does with her kids.

"Anything that involves some drawing or being active with stuff in the arts they love," said Hawthorne.

Although the program is geared towards a younger crowd, kids of all ages can benefit. Keeping up with learning during the summer is important to Tervonda Brown, her kids are eight, nine and 14. She's ready to put some of the D-I-Y activities to good use.

"I like the writing and reading because my son had trouble with the reading on the CRCT. So I see a lot of activities on here that we're gonna do at home to kind of boost his reading comprehension up," said Brown.

The summer calendar helps teachers too. "Because we found with our teachers that they do spend a few weeks at the beginning of school trying to go back over things that children may have been taught last year," said Evans.

The department will post a new calendar each month. June's calendar is already up.


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