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In my last blog post, I mentioned that I will be working at an organization this summer that helps to address summer reading loss for young students in Charlotte. Walking in to my first day of training with this organization, that was almost all that I knew about the work that we would be doing. Now, with over a week of training behind me, I am much better informed about the work that will be done and the things that make my site placement unique. In this post, I would like to highlight three aspects of the program that surprised and impressed me throughout my training.

The first aspect is the way that the scholars participating in my program begin every day of the summer. At the start of each day, after breakfast, the scholars will participate in a time full of singing and dancing as a full campus that enables them to have some fun, instills them with greater self-confidence through positive lyrics, and encourages excitement about reading. This component of each day at school is very different from what most schools do during the school year, but it is different by design. Its components are each intentionally selected to make scholars feel at home and excited about learning.

The second aspect is the curriculum itself. It is wonderfully interactive and has a unique design. In addition to bolstering literacy skills amongst the scholars, it also provides opportunities for scholars to utilize their social and emotional intelligences through interactive group activities and detailed reflections.

The final aspect involves the structures of afternoons at the school. Many afternoons involve a field trip of some sort. In addition to providing fun activities for the scholars, this design also recognizes that not all learning is done in the classroom. Enrichment activities are a crucial component of a robust education and help the scholars to engage with the community around them.