APPLEGATE: Summer programming for Niles children

Learning is a year-round and lifetime commitment, and while the summer months are often filled with relaxation, spending time with friends and enjoying the great outdoors, it is crucial that families continue to seek educational opportunities for their children. To that end, Niles Community Schools will offer a variety of programs to continue providing the children of Niles with educational opportunities over the summer months.

The pandemic and its ripple effects have put the spotlight on summer learning and learning loss for students. Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced its efforts to support summer learning programs across the country. The Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative will support states and school districts as they develop and fund programming over the next several months. This initiative will allow Niles Community Schools to provide programming – including new and reimagined initiatives – to the children of Niles.

Encouraging children to read over the summer months is one of the best ways to keep them engaged in learning. To support the area’s young readers, we are bringing back some of our most popular programs. The Summer Pop-Up Drive-Up Libraries and the district’s Book Fairies will provide free age-appropriate reading material to students in preschool through fifth grade. You do not need to be a Niles Community Schools student to participate in the Pop-Up Drive-Up Libraries, so we encourage all interested families to participate and receive a free book.

Summer camps are another great way to keep children immersed in learning during the sunny summer days. Through a partnership between the Niles-Buchanan YMCA and Niles Community Schools, the Summer My Way program has been providing students in kindergarten through fifth grade with both childcare and valuable learning opportunities for years. The district also offers Elementary & Middle School Kickstart Summer Camps, Career Exploration Camp and Girls STEM Camp. These programs directly correlate with the district’s curriculum, giving students a head start on what to expect in the fall and providing a glimpse into classes that they can take during their educational journey.

Of course, it’s important that families have ample time to play outside and spend time with friends this summer, but we also encourage them to invest time learning. Over the next several months, we will provide the area’s children with programming and resources to help them excel in the fall. The district continues preparations for the 2021-22 school year, including open enrollment for all grades. Families interested in enrolling at Niles Community Schools can visit the district’s website — nilesschools.org — for more information. As always, thank you for your ongoing support of our schools, and Go Vikes!

 

Dr. Dan Applegate is the superintendent of Niles Community Schools.

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