Summer education programs fight to keep kids engaged

Educational associations and school districts like CMS have already launched summer programs.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, North Carolina — Summer vacation is a critical time to catch up with students before the start of the new school year.

Educational associations and school districts such as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have already started the summer programs.

“We have summer programs for our newcomer students who don’t know English yet,” Chair of the CMS Board of Directors, Elyse Dashew said.

Dashew said CMS has students from 180 countries who speak 204 languages. CMS also offers programs for third graders, upcoming ninth graders, and other students who need intervention during this time.

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“We really try to make summer school rewarding and fun, and not just sitting there, you know, on a desk, memorizing and taking tests all the time,” Dashew said.

This year’s reports showed that many third-year students were not on track by CMS standards to be college and career ready. These summer courses are essential to correct this.

“If the kids show up in week one and then go down in weeks two, three, four, that’s not going to help much,” Dashew said. “So we really need them to keep coming to keep showing up.”

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Meanwhile, education nonprofits like MeckEd continue to engage its students during the summer.

At a recent graduation party, you might get a head shot, open a bank account, or get help enrolling in a community college.

Rising seniors like Aaron Amavi said events like the party have energized him for the upcoming school year, which has been a struggle.

“Maintaining and staying on top of my work,” Amavi said, “Because most of the time teachers just give work and I have to stay on top and make sure everything is okay.”

Amavi credited MeckEd’s SAT and ACT prep, mentorship, and help with helping him pass the year.

The common conclusion from education officials is that career and college preparation for students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area begins and ends with attendance.

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