Mar 16, 2018 01:09PM
By Jocelyn Houston
Summer slide may sound like an exciting activity, but in reality it’s no fun. The term refers to the learning loss many children experience over the summer. Research shows that without access to learning activities throughout the summer, kids fall behind academically. For students who are already behind in school, summer learning loss pushes them even farther behind their peers. Repeat this year after year, and major consequences develop, as one in six children who do not read proficiently by third grade fail to graduate high school in time—four times the rate for third graders with proficient skills.
“We want children to have the best summer ever, and of course that means time for play, but it’s also important that children continue to engage and learn,” said Jenny Holweger, Vice President of Program Development at the YMCA of Greater Omaha. “A child’s development is never on vacation, and at YMCA Summer Camps, kids don’t just learn about the world around them; they actively engage in the world around them.”
In Omaha, the YMCA of Greater Omaha helps prevent the summer slide by offering a diverse selection of summer camps that keep kids active while sharpening their minds.
The stress of finding the right summer camp can feel overwhelming, but with the YMCA of Greater Omaha’s easy-to-read Camp Guide (now available online and at all nine YMCA of Greater Omaha locations), shopping for the best summer camp fit is as simple as browsing through a catalog.
With such a variety of camp options, it’s easy to find the perfect camp to keep your child engaged, and learning, while having fun along the way.
YMCA summer camps include: day camp for kindergarten-twelve years, the outdoor-enthusiastic favorite Camp Platte for ages 6-15, half and full day specialty camps that allow for mastery of topics ranging from babysitting to healthy living to Lego building for ages 5-14, STEM camps for kindergarten-fifth grade, preschool camp, and teen leadership camps.
Outside of camp, parents and caregivers can help by keeping their children reading and engaged in learning throughout the summer. Here are a few tips from the Y to help parents get started:
Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books—Read to and with your kids. Start a book series together and read each night as a family. Reading at night keeps the brain buzzing and young minds active!
Visit Your Local Library—Explore new books you and your kids may have missed to keep your mind sharp during the summer. Be sure to check out special programming while you’re there; many libraries offer classes, story time or programs throughout the summer.
Cut Screen Time—With smartphones, tablets, video games, television and movies there are more options than ever for your child to entertain themselves with screens, but children should spend no more than two hours per day in front of a screen.
Enroll Your Kids in Camp—Camps like those offered at the Y provide well-rounded programming, make learning fun and provide a social outlet for your children throughout the summer.
Pick up your YMCA camp guide today at all YMCA of Greater Omaha location or online at metroymca.org/camp.