A summer learning program that included games and swimming is being called a success as it wraps up its final week.
Aimed at avoiding the annual knowledge drain students experience during the summer, the Gloversville Enlarged School District’s Summer Learning Academy drew 100 students over four weeks.
Students from second through sixth grade met at the middle school from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. throughout July, taking in lessons and practice on English language arts and mathematics in the first part of the day. After lunch, the program featured swimming in the middle school pool or other games in classrooms.
Some students learned how to swim while they were there, Superintendent Michael Vanyo said.
“We tried to avoid what they call the summer learning loss,” Vanyo said.
The program, including transportation and lunch, was covered by federal grant funding, and it included the use of iPads, giving the young pupils hands-on use of up-to-date technology.
The district is engaged in test marketing with the eSpark program, which uses standardized testing results to gear lessons to individual student capacity, and Vanyo said the successful test will likely mean more use of iPads for learning.
Vanyo said the district reached out to parents of at-risk and impoverished students who often don’t have a lot of reading materials at their disposal.
Adding the “carrot” of fun in each day’s afternoon led to “really steady attendance,” Vanyo said.
Depending on available funding, Vanyo said the program could return next summer.
“We think, based on what we’re seeing, we’d really like to make it a priority.”