|By G. Michael Dobbs|
SPRINGFIELD – On stage at the Boland Elementary School cafeteria was a group of children performing a play they had written about nature. Sitting watching them were beaming parents.
The play was one of concluding activities of Talk/Read/Succeed’s Hasbro Summer Initiative, a two-month summer program designed, according to its director Brian King, to help address “summer slide,” in which students lose some of their reading skills during summer vacation.
King said that this is the third year for the program, which served 30 students at each of the four locations.
Sixty children in the program live at Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) properties, such as the Sullivan Apartments near the Boland School and the Robinson Gardens Apartments near the Dorman School. Because the Dorman School is closed due to construction the Our Lady of Sacred Heart School was used as another location.
King said the school selected the participating kindergarten, first and second grade students who might be of greater risk of losing some of their skills during the summer. He added the nature-based curriculum was aligned to those of the schools and to the Common Core.
He said one outcome of the program was a greater parental involvement in their children’s education and a better relationship between teachers and parents.
The program ran from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and included both breakfast and lunch.
Funding for the program came from The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Hasbro, the SHA, the Springfield Public Schools and the Springfield Early Care and Education Partnership.
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