Want to help your child start fresh after a challenging year in school? This summer provides innovative opportunities for kids to catch up on what they missed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of the many free or discounted summer learning opportunities available for children in our community.
To counter the learning loss that kids experienced, The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is promising a “summer like no other” for eligible Cleveland students with its new Summer Learning Experience.
CMSD’s CEO Eric Gordon wants parents to know this is not traditional summer school, often viewed as a punishment for kids. Instead, the district promises fun, exciting adventures in a safe environment – combining education with camp so that all kids will want to be there. The aim is to help students catch up from the severe disruption that Covid-19 caused in their lives, cost is free for all CMSD students.
NBC Nightly News, aired live from Cleveland this past week as part of its “Across America” series looking at how cities are rebounding from the pandemic. Nightly News anchor Lestor Holt interviewed Gordon and helped shine a positive light on this program that is reinventing summer learning for its 34,000 students.
One of the ironies of this past year is that kids who’ve had little choice but to be online for virtual classes all day are likely craving more in-person and outdoor activities than ever before. Many teachers say they are looking forward to reconnecting with students in person after a difficult year of teaching virtually.
Registration is now open for students from preschool through 12th grade for one or both of the four-week sessions, either half-day or full day.
From 8:30–10:30 a.m., students will focus on language arts and math in K-8 and get on track for high school and graduation for grades 9-12. From 10:30 a.m. to noon, their day is enriched with projects designed to promote teamwork and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, including Community Garden, Lego City, Fairy Tales, STEM, Summer Physics Fun, Digital Photography, Elephant Project, Mural Project, American Sign Language, Social Media campaign, Cleveland exploration and improvement projects. For the afternoon session from 1– 4 p.m., students engage in internships, on-site camps for band, choir, sports and other activities that appeal to students’ interests and talents.
For those looking to get outdoors, Cleveland Metroparks Youth Outdoors program serves Cleveland youth through outdoor adventure and nature exploration activities. Young people aged 8 to 18 can learn valuable life skills in making decisions, communication, developing interests, and choosing a healthy lifestyle. Participation in this program is through groups based in or near the city, including recreation centers, faith-based organizations, and other youth-serving organizations.
Kids (0 to age 11) and young adults (12-18) can join the Cleveland Public Library’s summer reading program, Summer Lit League, from June 7 through July 31. Registration is now open for this eight-week program. Children are challenged to read and earn chances to win prizes.
The Cuyahoga County Public Libraries also offers a summer reading program, “Tails and Tales” from June 5 to August 15. Kids can track their progress and become eligible for prizes.They can complete eight STEAM video challenges for more chances to win. Registration is now open.
Educators know that free play is a key to learning for young children. That’s why the Children’s Museum of Cleveland exhibits promote child development. The museum offers toddlers and kids up to age 8 a chance to play, explore and learn in a beautifully renovated historical mansion, easily accessible by the RTA.
With its Museum For All program, families who receive government aid can visit the museum for a reduced rate of $2 per person for a group of up to 4 people. Families with an active military ID receive $2 off admission per immediate family member. Through the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative, fathers and male caregivers who live in the county and their families can receive free admission. Reservations are required with all current admissions.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) also offers children a place to experiment and play with engaging gallery games and fun hands-on activities through its Summer Creativity Camps. Campers will spend the mornings exploring art in the galleries with the CMA’s gallery teachers and afternoons creating art in classrooms. Partial scholarships are available. For questions or more information, email FamilyYouthInfo@clevelandart.org or call 216-707-2671.