May 22, 2019
Your students have spent the school year being fed and watered. It’s time to shine the bright summer sun on their budding minds, and watch those colorful petals unfurl!
Tilling for a New Crop: Reflect
As you review data to identify and invite the students who most need support during summer months, also take time to reflect on ways you and your students have bloomed over the past school year. What strategies ”fed and watered” this growth? Have you told your colleagues and students about ways you've seen them bloom, maybe by overcoming a challenging situation, learning a new skill or daring to try something new?
Try these ways to review data and identify students who most need support:
- With your program team, use your continuous improvement process to review your program’s spring session to see what worked well for students and staff. Note any programmatic issues that disrupted growth. Grab your gloves and pull those weeds out of the mix!
- Your stakeholders — including teachers, principals and parents — can offer valuable advice on this year’s crop. Meet early to revisit your academic and enrichment program essentials with these cultivators of young minds to strategically target recruitment.
Sowing the Right Seeds: Recruit
Be intentional about recruiting students who can benefit most from the summer program you’ve designed. Based on teacher recommendations and needs assessment results, make direct invitations to the students and their families. For ideas about structuring and managing student recruitment, start with the Y4Y Summer Learning Youth Recruitment Planner tool, and also try these strategies:
- Take advantage of family and community activities to set up an information table where families can learn about your summer program activities and goals.
- Advertise your program through social media. Be specific about program goals so you attract the students and families you hope to serve.
- For more recruitment ideas, visit the Implementation Strategies section of Y4Y’s Summer Learning course. See Step 5. Intentional Design: Recruit Students.
Helping Families Harvest: Identify Local Resources
For students who don’t have access to summer programs, try these strategies to support summer growth:
- Coordinate with community partners to distribute materials about summer activities at libraries, museums, parks and historical sites around your district.
- Participate in spring school-based family activities to help sing the praises of community resources and offer at-home ideas such as those in the Y4Y Family Engagement Strategies tool and the Learn More Library of the Y4Y Summer Learning course. Here are some examples from the Library: