Summer, for most students is a time to unwind and forget the academic stresses of the school year. During the summer many forget what they’ve learned during the school year, and all their hard work slips away. This is also known as the summer slide. As described by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development “It appears that summer learning loss is cumulative and that, over time, these periods of differential learning rates between low-income and higher-income students contribute substantially to the achievement gap.” This summer is the 15th summer that Advantage Lancaster has dedicated to dispelling this gap by offering educational opportunities to a group of majority minority and low-income students. With a rigorous curriculum, focused schedule and motivated staff Advantage Lancaster is actively breaking the summer slide cycle.
This year’s summer program started on July 5th at the Thaddeus Stevens branch campus where the students were welcomed and introduced to the summer staff. They were immediately put to work separated into their groups by their year in school. The middle school students started their day with a literacy class led by Ty Bair, co-founder of Advantage Lancaster. The high school students met with Professor Calderoni of Millersville University; they discussed their knowledge of the books that they were reading prior to entering the summer semester. The student mentors were also busy starting their online job readiness training.
Through Advantage Lancaster’s five principles: education, community involvement, appreciation of the arts, wellness and career exploration. Students who participate in the program leave with the necessary tools needed to succeed. Advantage Lancaster strives to support its students and provide them with as much career experience as possible. Fulfilling the career exploration principle, the program partnered with The Candy Factory this summer to provide internships for its high school students.
While the high school students are out on their internships the rest of the students are busy fulfilling the wellness principle at the YMCA. During their time at the YMCA, students are encouraged to burn at least 300 calories on exercise machines (treadmills, elliptical, stationary bikes etc.) and complete a rigorous workout with Mr. Jeremy, a certified physical trainer.
With such a focused and active schedule, Advantage Lancaster students will be consistently working their minds and bodies ultimately preventing the summer slide and strengthening their learning ability and refining their work ethic.