Archive for July, 2015

Summer Learning, Fitness, Teamwork

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

As July begins, there is growing awareness of the importance of summer as a season for learning — of various kinds.  (For example, First Lady Michelle Obama helped publicize “Summer Learning Day” last month.)

Much of the explanation for achievement gaps comes from differences in the quality of and time for learning that occurs before kindergarten and out of school, at home, on weekends, and during vacations.

Summer also offers an opportunity for young people to play and exercise, indoors and out, in organized and in unstructured settings.  Sedentary screen time should be minimized.

Building on evidence from around the country, New Haven is offering kids stimulating and fun options — from the Public Library (e.g., its summer reading challenge, including at branch libraries such as the one in Fair Haven) to the Police Activities League (PAL), from the Boys and Girls Club to ConnCAT, Junta for Progressive Action, LEAP, and Solar Youth.

While there is always more that can be done to reach additional families and to keep young people academically and socially engaged through their teens and beyond, the PAL’s local effort to combine sports and books (through a partnership with New Haven Reads), for example, and to improve police-community relationships, is encouraging.  New Haven Public Schools (hosting the PAL at Wilbur Cross H.S.) are promoting nutrition, along with academic and athletic offerings.

NPR is broadcasting a “Sports and Health” series this summer, with recent features already on the value of athletics for character and the mind, as well as the body, and on a running club at an Arizona school.

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