At Smarter Summers, our goal is not to take away from the joys of summer, but to provide balance! Our carefully planned half-day program for students in Grades 5-8 is designed not only to prevent learning loss, but to actually keep kids moving forward with the important skills that will help them excel in school. We target foundational skills in reading comprehension and expository writing on both a macro (outlining and structure) and micro (sentence development) level. These skills are taught through activities in which students will engage with current events and the worlds of art and science, so that they can become more interesting and informed learners along the way.
We will encourage students to learn about the world around them, and to find their voice within it. Students will develop research and presentation skills as they comb through the news for topics of interest, prepare reports discussing the news, and present their analysis to their peers. We will also conduct guided exercises with select articles to model effective active reading strategies and develop the skills they need to read critically on their own. In addition, each day will focus on a different overarching strategy for reading or expository writing, as well as a targeted grammar activity, both of which students will incorporate into the articles they write for our Smarter Summers News blog.
The Smarter Summers program will engage students by offering them the chance to apply great reading and writing strategies to a project they feel passionate about. By exposing learners to examples of the skills that we are teaching them in published articles relevant to their interests, and exploring the ways that clear, smart writing can frame and transform a story, we will give students the opportunity to use their own voices to take part in a wider conversation!