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Dear Friend of The GreenHouse,
A few weeks ago an 11-year-old boy named Ivan pulled a GreenHouse staff member aside and confessed a secret anxiety. In a quiet moment he told Deborah, our Elementary Program Director, "I'm nervous about summer." "Why?" she asked. Ivan whispered, "I'm worried that I'll have nothing to do."
In our imaginations, summer is a joyful time. We picture kids spending blissful hours in the pool, reading books, and riding bikes. But the reality for many GreenHouse youth is quite different. While parents work all day, many kids find themselves with vast tracts of unstructured time. Youth spend long summer hours unsupervised, wandering outside or alone indoors with the TV and video games on all day for company.
The impact of long, unstructured summers is well-documented. "Summer learning loss" occurs when students don't apply their academic skills over the summer, and can cause students to lose between one and five months of academic learning. Practically, this means that some students backslide half a grade level in reading and math over the summer.
Rates of summer learning loss are highest among lower-income students because they often do not have the same access to high-quality summer programming that their middle class peers do. Quality summer programming is not "bonus recreation" for students - it's a justice issue with long-term academic implications.
In response to this need, The GreenHouse offers three five-week, high-quality summer programs that are absolutely free for local students. Read on below for details!