Lee College joining effort to help youth beat summer learning loss & prepare for fall

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Mobile Go Center set to visit Roseland Park and Stratford Branch Library for July 13 event

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College is working in the community to help local youth beat the damaging “summer slide”: the phenomenon where young people — often low-income — lose academic skills during summer vacation and fall behind their peers by the time the new school year begins.

The college is participating in National Summer Learning Day on July 13 in partnership with Academic Beginnings for Children (ABC), a broad-based coalition of education, civic, business and non-profit organizations working together to deliver the best solutions for children. The annual event is sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) to raise awareness of the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy over the summer to ensure they return to school in the fall ready to succeed.

On Summer Learning Day, the Lee College Mobile Go Center will be posted at Roseland Park in Baytown from 10-11 a.m., and the Stratford Branch Library in Highlands from 2-4 p.m. Students and families who climb aboard the center — a 42-foot, air-conditioned trailer equipped with high-speed Internet and other state-of-the-art technology — can enjoy e-books provided through a grant from the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation, and receive information about preparing for college. Children can also take a free paperback book home with them to read this summer, thanks to a $400 donation from the Kiwanis Club of Baytown, and participate in arts and crafts and other activities.

The Mobile Go Center will also be on hand throughout July and August at select locations where the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) serves free breakfast and lunch to children 1-18 years old. In addition to losing access to nutritious meals, the NSLA estimates that low-income youth lose two to three months in reading and math skills over the summer while their higher-income classmates tend to make slight gains. By fifth grade, those reading and math losses can leave low-income students two to three years behind their peers in school.

“Reading builds better brains. Providing opportunities for children to read during the summer helps build those connections in the brain,” said Donna Mohlman, special projects librarian for Lee College and co-chairwoman for ABC. “By partnering with the GCCISD Summer Meals Program, we are providing food for the body and food for the mind.”