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Summer Advantage: An Outstanding Opportunity for Local Students
Summer Advantage:  An Outstanding Opportunity for Local Students

“Summer Slide” is the tendency for students, especially those that are disadvantaged, to lose as much as two to three months of reading skills during the summer break. Summer learning loss during elementary school accounts for two-thirds of the Reading Achievement Gap between at-risk students and their more advantaged peers by the time the students reach ninth grade. (Source: Afterschool Alliance; National Summer Learning Association). Some local school districts and their partners are finding ways to prevent Summer Slide.

The Summer Advantage Program was established through collaborative efforts of the Gallia-Vinton ESC, the Gallia County Department of Jobs and Family Services, Gallia County Local Schools, and Gallipolis City Schools. The purpose of Summer Advantage is to provide learning opportunities that extend beyond the regular school year. The opportunities help the students to enhance their current levels of knowledge and also help prevent a setback in youngsters’ levels of skill in reading.

 The Summer Advantage Program consisted of twenty-one days of learning throughout the months of June and July. Students that attended at least 18 of the 21 days received a “bonus” over and above the academic support: each of the faithful attendees earned $200 to spend on school clothes for the upcoming school year! Additionally, parent informational sessions designed to increase personal skills to support students’ academics and general well-being were provided. Parents that chose to participate earned an additional $75 to add to the students’ totals for their new wardrobes.

2018 marked the second year of Summer Advantage. Data from Year One indicated that 100% of the students maintained or increased their reading achievement levels from spring to fall testing in the local schools. This is phenomenal considering what happens if children spend a summer without reading! The school districts are excited to see this year’s Summer Advantage results that will be measured with testing in the early fall months.

Dr. Denise Shockley, Mr. David Moore, and Mrs. Gwen Daniels from the Gallia-Vinton ESC were assisted with school district coordinators, Mr. Jeremy Hout (Gallipolis City) and Mrs. Sandra Plantz (Gallia County Local Schools), to implement Summer Advantage.

The ESC is proud to acknowledge that in September of 2017, the Summer Advantage Program received an award from the Ohio School Boards Association Southeast Region for “Outstanding New Program or Innovation”.

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