More than 200 children, in preschool through third grade, are enrolled at the CMSD Summer Learning Experience site at Hannah Gibbons School, and Malaika Phillips is not surprised.
“When someone tells you that you have a chance for students to build solid foundational skills, and you’re providing a camp experience for them, who wouldn’t want that?” said Phillips, one of two administrators at the site.
The Summer Learning Experience, which got under way Monday, is a bold effort to help students in preschool through 12th grade catch up after a year in remote learning, get a head start on next school year or just re-engage in a variety of fun, hands-on activities and camps. And it’s free.
The first of two four-week sessions started Monday, and the second will begin July 12. About 6,700 students have been registered.
Hannah Gibbons is among several dozen CMSD sites that are spread throughout the city and host different grade levels.
A mother stopped in at Hannah Gibbons to register four children for multiple locations. She said the kids need to get back on track after struggling in remote learning, a process complicated by her work schedule.
“This is a good deal for parents, children and staff,” she said.
CMSD is funding the Summer Learning Experience with COVID relief funds and other grants. The program has received widespread media attention, including a featured spot on an episode of NBC Nightly News that Lester Holt anchored from Cleveland.
CEO Eric Gordon has said this year’s summer program will serve as a bridge to a new post-pandemic vision for learning the District is forming with input from the community.
Phillips would like to see the CMSD Summer Learning Experience become an annual program and improve each year.