Schools, libraries offer learning programs to counter ‘Summer Slide’

Brevard County Public Libraries will offer numerous activities for children and teens as part of its Youth Summer Reading Program.

Brevard County schools and libraries are teaming up to stop the “Summer Slide.”

The phenomenon, in which students regress academically during summer vacation, may be worsened this year due to the pandemic, which disrupted the entire 2020-21 school year.

“’Summer Slide’ is a big problem for students in all grade levels,” said Melanie Cundiff, a second-grade teacher at Viera Charter School. “Students work so hard during the school year, and then when they get out of school for the summer, they get comfortable not having to do any assignments. They don’t do anything to practice the skills they’ve learned, so they lose some of the knowledge they gained during the school year. It’s very sad to see.”

To help younger students stay sharp, Brevard Public Schools is offering summer camp through its Brevard After School program. “Around the World in 40 Days” runs from June 7 through July 30 at eight elementary schools throughout the county.

In addition, the school district offers a Summer Reads site at its website that challenges students in grades K-12 to read as many books as possible during the summer months.

At Viera Charter School, students who struggled as a result of the pandemic and e-Learning can attend a six-week summer school from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Instructors will teach reading and math from the school’s curriculum.

Most teachers at Viera Charter School print summer packets for students to complete for optional work, Cundiff said. “Some teachers even tell the students that if they bring the packet back when the new school begins, they will earn a prize or award,” she said. “This is what I do and it motivates my students to keep practicing lessons over the summer. I also give my students a monthly calendar with one goal or lesson to practice each day, mixing up reading, math and more, so they can check it off and keep track of their goals each day of summer vacation.”

Brevard County Public Libraries will offer numerous activities for children and teens as part of its Youth Summer Reading Program at all 17 county libraries, including reading lists fior children and teens, take-home story times, STEAM and craft projects, and virtual volunteering for teens. Videos featuring special guests, story book readings, and project instructions will be featured on the Brevard County Libraries’ YouTube channel on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this summer.

Parents can do their part as well by encouraging their children to read and do other activities such as writing in a journal or completing math problems during the summer, Cundiff said.

“Parents who motivate their students to work during the summer — and work with them — will be pleasantly surprised how it will help their child be successful for the upcoming school year,” Cundiff said.

For Brevard After School’s Summer Camps and the BPS’ Summer Reads program, visit brevardschools.org.

For Brevard County Libraries’ Youth Summer Reading Program, visit brevardfl.gov/PublicLibraries.