Impact on Education is proud to announce changes to our Summer Shuffle Early Childhood Summer Learning Program! Following public health guidelines, we are evolving from gathering and teaching groups of preschool-aged children at the Boulder Housing Partners (BHP) Community Centers to delivering instructional materials to the doorstep of every 3, 4 and 5 year-old’s home at every BHP site. While we will miss having these young learners join teachers in person, the modified Summer Shuffle allows us to reach twice as many students and families than we typically do! We anticipate delivering over 500 instructional kits this summer!
How we’re adapting
We’re excited to implement such an individualized model during this challenging, instructional time! Each week from June 22-July 23, a bilingual BVSD paraeducator will hand deliver, following established health protocols, an assembled package of theme-driven materials that follow a curriculum developed by our lead teacher, an experienced, bilingual BVSD Early Childhood Education teacher. The bilingual materials will include several books, arts & crafts materials, and printed instructional lessons to guide parents in using those materials. In addition, each week, our Lead Teacher, Ms. Kathy, will offer virtual storytime–in both Spanish and in English–with the books included in the weekly packages. She is also planning on virtual playgroups for parents to check in and visit with her and one another. They’ll have opportunities to ask questions about the instruction or childhood development or education and network with other parents. The program will not only support our youngest BVSD learners but also their parents, guardians, and families.
In past years, the goals of Summer Shuffle have been both academic and social-emotional, and this year’s changes will align with those goals: With full-day kindergarten in Colorado now going into its second year, school readiness has never been more important. Executive functioning skills such as attentiveness during instruction or storytime and sharing of ideas verbally are vital for kindergarten growth, and understanding basic math and language concepts is similarly important to starting off on the right foot.
Experiences that make a difference
Enrolling in a formal preschool program plays a crucial role in introducing those skills early, when children can start associating learning with fun, so one of our goals each year is to offer a friendly summertime introduction to school that will result in preschool enrollment. As with all of our programs, we’ll measure the impact of our program by collecting surveys, observing progress and collecting input from parents and caregivers. Additionally, Impact on Education will gather data on preschool enrollment of BHP children at the conclusion of our program.
Even in these uncertain instructional times, all children need to learn and be prepared for school. And we have a responsibility to do all that we can to ensure that the gap in in-person learning doesn’t add to the already wide gap in resources and opportunities that Impact on Education works so hard to address. We’re excited that Summer Shuffle will continue to mean fun in learning, and children in public housing will continue to grow and expand their horizons this summer!