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Avoid the summer slide

Dr. Claudia Lyles of Keystone Academy Charter School advises that kids stay sharp on their studies over summer – but also have fun.

The sun is out, the air is humid, and kids are out of school. It’s summer in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t mean kids should entirely neglect their studies. Educators at Keystone Academy Charter School in Tacony warn that students can lose up to two months of reading and math performance if they neglect studies the entire summer.

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“Taking a break a few months over summer might not seem much, but the cumulative effect of losing ground every year from kindergarten through 12th grade adds up,” Keystone Academy CEO Dr. Claudia Lyles said. “Children who lose ground each year do not perform as well on standardized tests as students who keep up with academic work over the summer.”

Dubbing it the “summer slide,” Lyles said that while staying on top of studies over the summer is important, it’s equally important to make sure kids can still have fun on their time off.

“I think our children are overscheduled and just having a little downtime goes a long way in terms of giving them an opportunity to just think and relax,” Lyles said.

She also recommended summer activities such as camping, scouting and swimming to encourage kids to have fun while learning new skills.

Depending on grade level, Keystone assigns its K-8 students math and reading packets and three or four books to read over the summer. Students who complete the work receive extra credit the following school year. The school provides the packets and supplies free of charge.

“Students are benefited because they’ve maintained their academic mindset by engaging in these types of activities over the summer,” Lyles said. ••

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