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Summer Programs Extend Learning Opportunities

July 5, 2006
Summer Programs Expand to Additional Schools, Extend Learning Opportunities for Elementary and Middle School Students

Approximately 6,000 elementary students have begun another exciting summer of learning through the Extended Learning Opportunities Summer Adventures in Learning Program (ELO SAIL).

ELO SAIL is entering its fifth year serving students in schools highly impacted by poverty (Title I), and is designed to provide both a review of last year’s material and a preview of the coming year. The students will spend four hours each day focusing on reading and math instruction mixed with fun activities. They also will receive breakfast and lunch every day. Many of the students will be in classes with the teachers they will have in the fall, giving them an excellent opportunity to get to know each other before the school year begins August 28. For example, of the 300 students participating at Gaithersburg Elementary School, 90 percent will be in classes with their incoming classroom teacher.

“Summer is a time for fun and recreation, but that doesn’t mean children should take a vacation from learning. We designed this program to be a fun adventure in learning so that children can review what they’ve already mastered and prepare for an exciting new school year in August,” said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools.

The program is growing this summer and will serve more than 6,000 students at 21 schools through July 28, 2006. Last year, 5,000 students in 19 schools participated in ELO SAIL.

Parents reported great satisfaction with last year’s program, according to a survey conducted among the parents. In fact, 97 percent of parents said ELO SAIL helped their children with their schoolwork and that they were better prepared for school as a result. Ninety-eight percent of the parents said they would recommend ELO SAIL to other parents.

At the middle school level, the extended year program will serve approximately 4,000 students at 38 middle schools. This program is designed to assist students who need additional help in reading and mathematics by reviewing past content and preparing them for the material they will learn in the fall. It also provides an opportunity for students to prepare for above-level mathematics courses such as geometry, algebra, Math B, and Investigations into Mathematics (IM).

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