Education Matters: Using the summer to fill in learning gaps


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – There has been a huge effort this summer to help students prepare for a return to in-person learning this fall and it’s not all about academics.

An outdoor classroom proved to be the perfect setting for students in Fresno County’s Migrant Education program.

“It’s amazing that we basically brought the classroom outside,” said teacher Nancy Sanchez. “We have our pencils out here crayons, paper, scissors everything we need so it is a mobile classroom outside.

Officials with the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Migrant Education program say the focus of this year’s summer camp was to get kids excited about returning to school while addressing the learning loss experienced by most students. The emphasis was on teaching math.

“There is a lot of language in math,” said Executive Director Ruben Castillo. “We think math is just numbers but it’s not. There is so much language involved in mathematics and we are very concerned that our kids did not get enough math skills during this 15/16 month lay off from school.”

It was back to basics learning with worksheets using paper and pencils. Fun, hands-on stem activities were also part of the equation.

“Right now, they are trying to create and build a building upwards and they’re trying to see who can build the tallest building and that’s a hands-on math activity.”

The setting, Scout Island Outdoor Education Center, is great for getting these kids up and moving again while at the same time addressing their social and emotional health.

They have also provided vision screenings, hoping to catch any health need that will get in the way of these students being ready to go back to school and learn.

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