Summer Program Gives Kick Start to Students

Summer Program Gives Kick Start to Students Photo

Approximately 160 students from throughout Valley Stream District 30 are enrolled in the district’s fun and engaging summer program, taking place through Aug. 4 at Shaw Avenue Elementary School.

Open to incoming kindergarten through incoming sixth-grade students, the program reinforces what the students learned during the school year and allows for individual attention to be set on each student’s academic progress. Under the leadership of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Roxanne Garcia France, the program was launched five years ago in the district to provide students with opportunities to engage in enrichment and social emotional learning activities through different fun and interactive educational approaches.

Run by summer school coordinator Erica Suarez, the program is designed to support the needs of students in the areas of English language arts and mathematics. In addition, it serves as a way to strengthen students’ 21st century learning skills in the areas of creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaboration.

The program is broken into two different curriculums based on grade levels. Among small individualized groups and activities such as art, music and physical education, the younger grade levels engage in weekly STEAM activities to harness their problem-solving skills. Each class also focuses on the Mood Meter as part of their social emotional learning component. The Mood Meter is divided into four colors – red, blue, green and yellow with each color representing a different set of feelings. The teachers track how each student is feeling every morning as a tool for discussion and a way to help students identify their feelings.

The older grade levels, featuring incoming students in grades 3-6, focus on different comprehensive assessments to build on their mathematics and reading strategies. They also tackle more technology classes such as Lego Robotics, Game Builders, Achieve 3000 and Think Through Math, to strengthen their thinking skills.

“We successfully met our goal this summer, which was to support the students in need of Academic Intervention Services in the areas of English language arts and mathematics,” said Suarez. “In addition to supporting our students' academic needs, we also worked hard to enhance their learning experiences and provide each student with daily enrichment opportunities.”