LETTER FROM ED: SUZY HARRIS

Why do I do what I do for ED?

Because preventing summer learning loss in ourmost vulnerable children is so important!SAIL 4

Did you know:

  • 2/3 of the 9th grade academic achievement gap can be attributed to unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.
  • Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, even though their middle-class peers make slight gains in reading.
  • Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break.
  • Children who qualify for free and reduced lunches at their schools also lose access to nutritious food over the summer.
  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do.

 

I have been the SAIL Program Manager since January of 2016 when ED became the 

SAIL 2backbone organization for SAIL (Summer Adventures in Learning), a collective impact project. I’ve worked in K-12 education for over 25 years with most of those years spent at the Birmingham Museum of Art working with students, educators and individuals to enhance our community through the arts. I spent many years working with teachers and students on arts integration initiatives in which the skills of art and the skills of math and reading are taught together. My first experience with SAIL was presenting for the Museum at the annual SAIL enrichment fair. I also worked with Better Basics, one of SAIL’s academic partners, on using the Museum’s culture cases in their summer curriculum. I regularly collaborated with other cultural organizations and those relationships have helped SAIL provide new educational enrichment activities to our many students in Birmingham and the Black Belt region.

 

SAIL 3

Although SAIL serves students in 44 summer programs in Jefferson, Blount, Dallas, Hale, Madison, Marengo, Monroe, Randolph, Shelby, Sumter, Walker and Wilcox counties, most of the students served by our programs are from the Birmingham City Schools.

Here’s to another great summer #KeepKidsLearning!

Suzy

 

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