Aimed at preventing the “summer slide,” Kiwanis Summer School in Prineville achieved that goal for a sixth straight year.
“After viewing the results from our Kiwanis Summer School classrooms, it is apparent that the vast majority of students improved over the summer in both reading and math,” reported Crook County School District Curriculum Director Stacy Smith. “Since students normally regress over the summer holiday, these students are ahead of the game.”
This summer, 43 students completed the program, which was held at Crooked River Elementary three mornings a week from July 9 to Aug. 15. Three CCSD teachers, three instructional assistants, and two high school volunteer assistants worked with the students in three classrooms.
The Prineville Kiwanis Summer School opened in 2014 to serve students who just completed kindergarten through third grade and were under performing in reading and math. For the last six summers with this opportunity provided by Kiwanis, the community and Crook County School District has served nearly 400 students with what program director Wayne Looney calls outstanding results.
“As director of this project, I get to, on occasion, witness these children grow in skill and confidence,” Looney said. “It is an experience more of us should enjoy.”
Originally scheduled to sunset after four years, Prineville Kiwanis was able to continue the program due to a growing support from CCSD .
“A proven model and strong instructors have continued to produce outstanding results,” Looney said.
At the start of the summer session, teachers conducted pre-tests for reading and math, explained lead teacher Natalie Godat . Based on the results of those tests, teachers were able to group the students into small groups that would meet their needs.
All teachers agreed that summer school was beneficial.
“The students got a little bit of extra help, and they also got the opportunity to work in smaller groups that they weren’t able to during the regular school year,” Godat said. “They also were able to meet and make new friends and make new connections that they weren’t able to make before.”
Smith said educators know that the only way to make up deficits in academic outcomes is supplemental instruction, and this summer school opportunity provides that.
He said Kiwanis has been a great partner for Crook County School District for many years now, providing an opportunity to get elementary students supplemental instruction over the summer. By sharing costs, Kiwanis has allowed more students to receive this additional support.
“We are grateful for their support and collaboration,” Smith said.
Looney said the Kiwanis Club members are concerned that there are several more students who would profit from this program, and they are prepared to serve them.
“We hope to improve the communication with our community so as to better serve its youth,” he said.