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Lots to Celebrate When it Comes to Summer Learning!

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Afterschool and Summer News

This past month, SOWA kicked up our Summer Learning Day celebrations by making a whole week of it, and more! Thank you to Governor Inslee who issued a proclamation declaring the week of July 10th Summer Learning Week in Washington, joining thousands of other communities across the state and nation acknowledging the critical role of enriching learning opportunities in keeping kids engaged, healthy, and on track for school in the fall.

Did you celebrate Summer Learning in your community? We’d love to hear! Please contact David Beard at dbeard@schoolsoutwashington.org to share your story. 

SOWA & ESD 113 Celebrate Summer Learning at Centralia Middle School

SOWA partnered with ESD 113 to celebrate Summer Learning at a 21st Century Community Learning Center program at Centralia Middle. As site coordinator Courtney Smith explains, “The kids are engaged and having fun, but they're also learning a lot and getting to do things they usually would not get to do, like 3-D prints, field trips. Things like that."

One of the classrooms we visited was learning all about creating a business plan. Inspired by the show Shark Tank, the youth came up with an idea, and then developed a business plan to launch and market their product, including developing a logo! In their program, they also learned critical skills like how to write a resume, and basic financial literacy such as writing a check. 

Here’s an article published in the Centralia Chronicle highlighting this Summer Learning Day.  In this Washington News Service story, we hear more from Courtney Smith at Centralia Middle School about how their program is delivering high-quality summer programming, and from Nicole Stein, Vice President for Corporate Responsibility at Umpqua Bank, which has made summer learning one of its primary causes.

Pierce County Summer Learning Bus Tour

Our partners at Graduate Tacoma organized a bus tour to take leaders from foundations, Tacoma Public Schools, and community organizations to see some examples of high-quality summer learning opportunities in action.

Here’s a video sharing all about the Summer Learning Tacoma Pierce, one of the collaborative action networks supported by Graduate Tacoma and the Foundation for Tacoma Students.

At Jason Lee Elementary, Peace Community Center is partnering with Tacoma Public Schools to offer programming in areas such as STEM robotics and math. Hilltop Artists is developing skills and fostering a passion for glassblowing in their summer program.  And at Asia Pacific Cultural Center, youth are participating in “14 Countries in 14 Days” themed summer program learning about a diverse group of cultures and countries.

These programs are making a huge impact on youth in their communities, and are just a few examples of high-quality summer learning happening across Pierce County.

Zero Robotics Field Day

Middle-school youth from five summer programs gathered in Seattle to participate in a Zero Robotics Field Day, a robotics programming competition created by MIT and NASA and coordinated in Washington by SOWA. Youth participated in a live, interactive version of the final competition where they act out the action of the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) and other game elements on a life size grid. Former astronaut Wendy Lawrence, who spent time on the International Space Station, joined the youth in this fun activity and celebration of STEM and summer learning. 

A shout out to Tukwila School District Superintendent Dr. Nancy Coogan who came out to visit with youth in their summer program taking part in Zero Robotics. Check-out our Facebook photo album for more shots of the interactive activities.

Bellevue Celebrates Summer

Eastside Pathways, an education-focused collective impact effort, and the Bellevue School District partnered to showcase summer learning across the city. Guests loaded up on buses and toured middle and elementary-focused literacy, STEM, and Spanish-immersion programs at Bellevue schools. We also toured a YMCA camp program, a Boys & Girls Club, the Bellevue Youth Theatre, programs at Bellevue Parks, and the KidsQuest Museum.

It was wonderful to see such an impactful collaboration for summer learning from the school district, the city, King County, and community-based organizations. Bellevue is all in for summer!

Mt Vernon "Feed Your Brain" program serving 250 children and youth

One final summer learning highlight, an article featuring one of SOWA’s Feed Your Brain programs serving children in Skagit Valley. About 250 kids at the Foundation for Academic Endeavors are learning important skills and concepts this summer that will help them progress during the school year. Thanks to Ready Washington for highlighting this great program!

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