Summer Kits for Kids Support Fun and Learning
Posted on: Jul 8th, 2020
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (7/8/2020) – While the effects on education from the government mandated school closures (March – June 2020) are yet to be quantified, even before the pandemic, the National Summer Learning Association states that most students lose two months of mathematical skills every summer and disadvantaged children typically lose another two to three months in reading, referred to as the “summer slide”.
Libraries, children’s museums and schools offer programs such as reading challenges, summer camps, engaging performers and family events to combat the effects of the summer slide. “Spending just 2-3 hours a week on an educational activity can help support continuous learning,” noted Haylee Ziehme, Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac Activities and Outreach Coordinator.
Nonprofits in the Fond du Lac area are working together to address the Achievement Gap in Education, distributing 1,000 fun learning kits every two weeks, with instructions and materials for educational and interesting projects. “With all of the great challenges presented by COVID-19, and relatively little clarity on how long the negative effects will last, we need to work together stronger than ever to support the social, emotional physical and intellectual needs of children,” added Andrea Welsch, Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac.
“Recognizing that many of our traditional summer programs were going to be interrupted by the novel coronavirus, the Kit of the Week became a way that we could support learning,” said Sarah Davis, FDL Public Library Youth Services Coordinator. “Like the Children’s Museum, our kits are available via curbside pickup and in-person pickup. Children are very excited to receive them.”
When school counselors brought up the need for summer educational outreach in neighborhoods where children were at the greatest risk for the summer slide to The Salvation Army’s attention, “we recognized an opportunity to couple the Summer Fun Kits with The Salvation Army’s Brown Bag Lunch distribution and help,” Connie Millard Community Resource & Development Director of The Salvation Army said. The Salvation Army Brown Bag Lunch program distributes free summer lunches to at risk families, those who qualify for free and reduced lunches during the school year.