MCPS Honored as Champion of Summer Learning

July 9, 2009
National Center for Summer Learning Presents Award to Superintendent Weast in Recognition of ELO–SAIL Summer Learning Program

MCPS Expands Program Using $1.2 Million in Funding from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

ROCKVILLE, MD—The National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University recognized Montgomery County Public Schools today for its efforts that support summer academic opportunities for students at an event at Montgomery Knolls Elementary School.

Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools, accepted the 2009 Champion of Summer Learning Award, which recognizes the quality of Extended Learning Opportunities–Summer Adventures in Learning (ELO–SAIL) and Extended Learning Opportunities–Cultural Arts and Recreation Experiences (ELO–CARE). These programs provide comprehensive academic and enrichment activities during the summer to nearly 8,000 students in 30 Title I schools.

“If kids aren’t learning over the summer, they can fall behind academically,” says Dr. Weast. “Quality summer learning programs help kids get ahead and reinforce what they have learned during the regular school year. ELO–SAIL is an excellent example of this.”

ELO–SAIL, a free, four-week summer program, features a four-hour instructional day of reading, language arts, and mathematics to students entering kindergarten through fifth grade. The program provides opportunities for students to catch up on grade-level concepts and accelerate learning by previewing concepts.

According to a 2009 MCPS research report, data show that the positive academic impacts associated with 2007 ELO-SAIL remained evident in the fall. The higher Grade 1 fall text reading and comprehension levels and the higher Grade 4 fall mathematics scores for full participants suggest that the program was effective in prevention of summer academic loss and even resulted in more academic gain in these grades.

The National Center for Summer Learning notes that, at a time when many school districts are cutting or eliminating their summer programs due to budget cuts, MCPS recently added $1.2 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to expand the program this summer to reach more students.

This award was presented on National Summer Learning Day, a recognition sponsored by the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, to encourage communities across the country to celebrate the importance of summer learning.

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