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Nat'l Summer Learning Day: OH District a Leader in Summer Programming

June 21, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - It may be summer break, but a busy day is planned for thousands of children as part of National
Summer Learning Day today. It's an annual event meant to raise awareness of the importance of high-quality summer educational opportunities for all kids. While many school districts are cutting summer school to deal with shrinking budgets, the Cincinnati Public School District is one of several nationwide using a combination of community partners and federal stimulus dollars to provide an innovative program, offering an extra month of academic lessons infused with favorite summertime activities.

District spokesperson Dawn Grady says it is succeeding.

"It's working, because certainly attendance has gone up from last year to this year. The parents are loving it. We've got even more partners providing the enrichment this year than we did last year, so it continues to grow."

Grady says that through the program students enjoy fun enrichment opportunities that bring academic concepts to life.

Ron Fairchild, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, says National Summer Learning Day provides a great opportunity to talk about education reform for summer school. He shares a new vision that goes beyond remedial classes and test preparation.

"I see one that is much more enriching, can help kids catch up, keep up, and work ahead, while exploring some new talents and some new skills that they need in order to be successful in school and in life."

Fairchild says it's been well-documented that kids fall behind academically during the vacation months if they lack access to quality learning programs, and children in low-income families lose the most ground.

"They lose access to educational opportunity, nutritious meals and snacks, and to safe places with adult supervision, and so the challenge is to expand these kinds of opportunities for all kids in this country."

National Summer Learning Day events are being held across Ohio today, and include reading, art, music and nature activities.

Details on all events are at www.summerlearning.org

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH