The six-week, free, in-person sessions will take place June 7 to July 2 at Price Middle School.
Through a partnership with Horizons Atlanta, approximately 150 elementary and middle school students will receive ample individual attention (camper to counselor ratios are 5:1) and programming with a blend of high-quality academics – with an emphasis on literacy and STEAM – with arts, fitness, cultural enrichment, field trips, and confidence-building challenges. Every Horizons scholar also learns to swim.
Purpose Built Schools Atlanta has partnered with Horizons Atlanta since 2017. This year’s summer program will focus more on literacy skills for learners who struggled to master reading during remote instruction.
“The summer programs will be crucial for catching up students who have fallen behind due to the pandemic and school closures, this time will allot for direct and small group instruction,” said Tianna Knight, who oversees summer programs for PBSA. “Our summer program is going to be essential to closing the gaps; this full day summer program will also help transition students to a full school day when returning in the Fall.”
For more than 50 years, Horizons Atlanta has led programming to address the opportunity gap that exists between underserved students and their more fortunate peers. Horizons Atlanta scholars, all of whom are free-or-reduced-lunch qualified, come from public schools and are in need of academic support. By design, roughly 2/3 of their scholars perform below grade level when they first enroll. Outcomes include measurable gains in reading, math, swim skills and water confidence, social skills, self-esteem, school-year attendance, and high-school graduation rates.
Summer Blast will provide approximately 100 elementary school, middle school and special education students an opportunity to continue and improve upon their learning from the school year throughout the summer months in order to avoid the “summer slide”.
The theme for Summer Blast 2021 is: Community: Who I am? Who Are We? What can we do together? Each day, students will experience small group reading and math instruction that is differentiated to their individual needs. Engaging mentor texts are used to strengthen vocabulary and comprehension skills and multi-sensory activities are utilized to build reading skills such as letter, letter sound, and sight word fluency. Scholars participate in math activities designed to strengthen fact fluency and problem-solving skills.
Additionally, scholars participate in organized play that develops and strengthens social skills, teaches cooperation, and boosts creativity. Scholars choose two daily enrichment activities, including opportunities like basketball, flag football, robotics, science, and yoga. Weekly field trips to Atlanta-area locations help students to connect their learning with the real world and develop an understanding of their place in the Atlanta community.
Thanks to Summer Blast’s partnership with the CREATE teacher residency program, student-to-teacher ratios are low, and students can learn in a classroom with at least three certified teachers for more personalized attention and support to attain learning goals.
“Summer Blast is committed to welcoming our scholars back to our buildings, classrooms, and face-to-face learning by creating curriculum and learning experiences on and off campus that help to strengthen the student’s understanding and appreciation of their unique identity, develop respectful, caring relationships with members of our camp/school community and work together to design a community that values each individual’s identity and voice,” said Tiffany Smith, director of Summer Blast for elementary students.