Programs to target learning loss amid pandemic

April 20, 2020 • Filed under Press Coverage Highlights

Programs to target learning loss amid pandemic

By Kim Doleatto, Posted at 7:01 AM

For many Florida families, April is summer camp season, when working parents scramble to register children in affordable, limited capacity camps that fill in minutes. But the coronavirus shutdown has summer camps in limbo, with registration and the summer learning they provide on hold.

And when they open, will families be able to afford them?

Because it relies heavily on tourism, Florida is one of the states hit hardest by coronavirus-related job losses this year.

Scaled-back bank accounts will be matched by scaled-back summer learning, already impacted by a school year cut short and replaced by well-intentioned, clumsy and, for some, burdensome attempts at homeschooling dependent on a strong internet connection, device availability and, most importantly, an available parent who can help.

With what researchers and educators know about summer slide — the learning loss that comes from time spent out of school without access to quality camps — predictions can be made about the learning losses poised to affect almost 3 million Florida students.

Over the summer, children who cannot afford summer camps and other rich learning opportunities can lose an average of two months in academic learning.

As a result, they start the new school year behind their peers and play catchup instead of moving forward with the curriculum. Without intervention, the effects often compound over time.

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