First, kids had extended learning opportunities to help combat the "summer slide" that often occurs when learning is on hold for summer months. The morning curriculum focused on core subjects with hands-on activities. Afternoon sessions enhanced morning lessons with a variety of applications and even extended them through the fine arts. Kids going into kindergarten in the fall learned the building and routines, putting them way ahead of where they'd typically be in August. This will create a much smoother transition at the first of the school year. Academic gains of 3-8 grade students were documented by pre and post assessments in math and communication arts. Post test scores were high than pre test scores in math by 61% and communication arts by 45%.
Second, families benefited from a safe, FREE learning environment that kept kids productive, active, and supervised during school day hours. For $20 families were able to extend this supervision to before and after school childcare through the GO program. Not only did this save families money, it also eased parents' worries about what the kids were doing while they worked.
Third, attendance incentives likely put a lot of money into the local economy. Catapult Learning rewarded students for perfect and near-perfect attendance with gift cards. It's impossible to know just where these will be spent, but I'd guess many of them will be used locally. A total of 343 kids earned these cards; 234 earned the $100 perfect attendance card. The grand total of all cards presented to kids from Catapult was $30,750. That will buy a lot school supplies, clothes, and other special items that normally might not be purchased.
The success of Summer Journey is due in large part to the amazing summer staff: Ms. Kim Walker, principal, Mr. Joe Suchan, assistant principal, and a number of outstanding teachers, office personnel, and GO workers. I have a sign in my office that says, "We are here to do good things for other people." The staff of Summer Journey certainly exemplified these words. Thank you.