STREAMing into the next school year

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, July 20, 2016

We are really impressed with J.P. King’s S.T.R.E.A.M. Summer Academy and everything the children have done and learned.

Last week, a member of The Tidewater News team had the privilege to attend J.P. King’s S.T.R.E.A.M. Summer Academy ending ceremony. The program allowed the students to share what they did over the last few weeks, what their favorite part was and what they learned.

Educators make lots of noise around this time of year about “summer learning loss,” the brain drain that happens over the summer when children lose some of the progress they made over the past year due to not being in a learning environment on a regular basis.

While summertime is good for many things important to children — relaxation, physical activity, friendships, seeing family, exploring hobbies and literally expanding their horizons by vacationing away from home — academic learning isn’t something that usually happens in July and August

However, those students who participated in the academy were able to do all of the above, including their improving on subjects and preparing for the next school year. S.T.R.E.A.M. — which stands for Science/Science of Movement, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math — allows the students to have fun while engaging in academic learning.

This kind of program is something we think all schools should look into because the results seem to be remarkable.

Students at this summer academy were given a pre-test and post-test, and they were able to improve their scores anywhere from 15 to 30 percent in just three weeks. Imagine how much better the students could do if the program lasted all summer, or if it was somehow incorporated into the school year?

People always say that students learn better when they are having fun and doing it in a way that piques their interests, and those who were involved in this summer academy proved just that.

We just wanted to take this time to give the J.P. King staff a pat on the back. It is our hope that other schools will follow in your footsteps and come up with a program similar to this one.