United Way Announces Summer Learning Workbook Initiative
Area Children will avoid Summer Learning Loss with free Highlights Big Fun Workbooks
(New Milford) – In addition to crucial issues like employment, food security, housing, and utility assistance, and mental health concerns, COVID-19 has also completely disrupted the school year and impacted the education of tens of thousands of students in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Given the abrupt ending to a traditional school year, many students will not be as prepared for the next school year as they should be.
That’s why United Way of Susquehanna County has created a summer learning workbook initiative to help the youngest of learners maintain critical early learning skills.
This month, approximately 1,050 children in grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade from five participating school districts, will receive a free, high quality, educational workbook from Highlights Magazine, Inc. Highlights’ Big Fun Workbook is grade appropriate and designed to motivate young learners to practice essential reading and math skills. The workbooks are filled with academic exercises, puzzles, and fun activities.
Ensuring children read on grade level and have access to summer learning opportunities is critical to the success of United Way’s Helping Children Do Well initiative. Third-grade reading levels continue to be a key indicator of graduation rates and academic success. Research shows that young children can potentially lose one to three months of reading and math achievement over the summer months, often called the “summer slide.”
“Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the school year was shorter, and the summer slide will be longer, and the youngest of students in our community truly need support,” said Robin Cobb, United Way of Susquehanna County Director of Operations. “The crisis has been challenging for many families who have limited access to technology and educational resources. Our Summer Learning Workbook initiative will help reduce the “summer slide” and keep our youngest learners on track to meet their essential academic milestones.”
Many local school districts share these concerns and are excited to participate in the United Way’s initiative.
“Lost school time means lost learning time, and young learners are particularly at-risk for falling behind. United Way’s Summer Workbook initiative will give students and their families a unique opportunity to practice critical literacy and math skills together throughout the summer months,” said Michael Zack, Forest City Regional School District Elementary School Principal. “We applaud United Way of Susquehanna County’s efforts to support our student community.”
School districts participating in the summer learning workbook initiative include Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City Regional, Mountain View, and Susquehanna Community School Districts.
In the Fall of 2020, every child who returns a completed workbook to their next year’s teacher will be invited to participate in an ice cream party at school. For more information on summer learning activities, please visit our website at www.unitedwayofsusquehannacounty.org.
United Way of Susquehanna County thanks our generous Summer Learning Workbook initiative sponsors: HD Waste, PS Bank, Dr. David J. Rechlicz, The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Sordoni Family Foundation, The Baum Group, Navient Foundation, Straub Metal, PNC, The Benco Family Foundation, Highmark, Berkshire Asset Management, Eyewitness News WBRE/WYOU and a number of individual donors.