Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Manchester to celebrate National Summer Learning Day

The Manchester School District, in collaboration with organizations, businesses, and supporters of education across the city, will highlight the importance of summer learning opportunities on July 12, the day designated as National Summer Learning Day.

Led by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), National Summer Learning Day is an advocacy day aimed at elevating the importance of keeping all kids learning, safe and healthy during the summer. On this day each year, the country unites in advocacy efforts and celebrations hosted by hundreds of partner organizations from libraries to parks and recreation centers and civic and non-profit groups to promote awareness of the importance of keeping kids healthy and engaged during the summer.

“Summer Learning Day is a reminder that summers count for success in the school year ahead, and our community should work together to ensure students get the opportunities and services necessary to continue growing and thriving over summer vacation,” said Dr. Bolgen Vargas, Superintendent of Schools. “We are dedicated to supporting student achievement throughout the summer, and our celebration today marks our commitment to that goal.”

Manchester’s Summer Learning Day efforts are closely linked to the school district’s “Booked for Summer” literacy initiative, now in its second year. The summer-long calendar of events to engage children of all ages in learning outside the classroom includes story hours, interactive activities, and other programs. The Manchester City Library, Manchester Parks and Recreation, Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, Granite YMCA, New Hampshire Institute of Art, the Millyard Museum, SEE Science Center, Amoskeag Fishways, Massabesic Audubon, the Currier Museum of Art, The Bookery, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers are among the many community partners promoting and participating in the Booked for Summer program.

In special recognition of National Summer Learning Day, Booked for Summer supporters have committed to hosting additional events on July 12, such as a read aloud sponsored by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Popular mascot Fungo is scheduled to read to children at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.    

The new Manchester Bookmobile, which visits six city locations on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, will add special stops on July 12, a Thursday, for National Summer Learning Day.

Research shows that summers put our nation’s youth at risk for falling behind in core subjects like math and reading. The math and reading skills low-income students, in particular, lose each summer are cumulative and contribute significantly to the achievement gap seen in many communities as large and diverse as Manchester. A survey conducted by NSLA indicated that two-thirds of teachers said they spend at least a month re-teaching students old material when they return from summer vacation.

The Manchester School District also recognizes that proper nutrition is just as important as academic opportunities are to children’s growth and well-being. The district’s school food services department provides meals to summer school programs, school-based day camps run by the YMCA and 21st Century Learning Centers, and the city’s three Fun in the Sun locations.  Southern New Hampshire Services also provides free breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Manchester youth 18 and under at various public locations.

Many of these learning opportunities require resources. Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant on Elm Street and Texas Roadhouse on South Willow Street are hosting fundraisers on National Summer Learning Day: A portion of each dining bill will be donated to the Booked for Summer program.

Dr. Vargas will join community leaders from around the city to kick-off Manchester’s Summer Learning Day events that morning at Gossler Park Elementary School. The full schedule of public activities is available online at bookedforsummer.mansd.org. All children and families are welcome to attend all of them throughout the day.

WHO: Manchester School District and community partners
WHAT: National Summer Learning Day 2018
WHEN: Thursday, July 12
                 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Gossler Park Elementary School

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