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HomeEducationSchoolAcademic summer camps are a fun way to prevent brain drain

Academic summer camps are a fun way to prevent brain drain


Academic Camp at St. Anne's School in Annapolis
Academic Camp at St. Anne’s School in Annapolis

Where to find good academic summer programs

If you can’t find suitable public summer school programs, there is a wealth of private programs. Some are offered at local community colleges, Y or recreation center or private organizations. Meaningful instruction, as well as an element of fun is key to a quality summer academic program.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School in Annapolis offers a variety of hands-on academic-themed camps, which focus on math, photography, creative arts, robotics, science and writing. The “Mad Science” camp focuses on experiments and inventions, and in the “Kitchen Science” course kids discover all about food science.

At Math Tree, summer programs focus on teaching small groups of children in relevant ways they will remember when the school year starts, says Lynn Salvo, Math Tree president. Games, manipulatives and hands-on projects are the core of the curriculum at Math Tree.

“We don’t teach in a work book-y kind of way. We make it really interesting and tangible and reachable so kids can go into the school year confident,” says Salvo.
“The first time, some kids come in kicking and screaming, but by the end of the first day, they don’t want to go home.”

Educators at Summit School feel the same about all subjects. The school and its summer program in Edgewater are designed especially for children with learning differences. The month-long summer academic camp focuses on reading, math and written expression.

Families who come to us tell us it’s the most wonderful boost for their child,” says Joan Mele-McCarthy, head of Summit School. Students with learning differences are especially prone to falling behind over the summer, which is why summer instruction is so important, says Mele-McCarthy.

“By the very nature of a learning difference, without constant repetition and exposure to academic skills, they will slide back,” Mele-McCarthy says. “It’s very crucial for kids to have that instruction in the core subjects. Slide back can be significant. Then you spend of the school year trying to gain what you lost.”

Regardless of a child’s skill level or knowledge, summer learning is pertinent for a successful school career.

“We need to get kids while they are young and build good learners, as opposed to mediating a struggling learner later on,” says Smith.

Considering overnight camp? Click here.

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