Written by Lindsay Hansen
Summer break is a great time for families to relax, have fun, and keep those school-year stresses at bay. However, time out of the classroom can lead to a loss of knowledge known as the “summer slide.” Junior Achievement of Arizona is helping families across the state stay on track with a host of free, virtual resources that include financial literacy, entrepreneurship, life skills, leadership and more.
“At Junior Achievement, we encourage learning among today’s youth both in and out of the classroom,” says Katherine Cecala, Junior Achievement of Arizona president. “Parents can take an active role in preventing the summer slide by visiting fun and educational attractions, encouraging reading each day, and taking advantage of the many resources we offer.”
A 2020 study of kids in 3rd-5th grades showed students lost, on average, about 20% of their school-year gains in reading, and 27% of their school-year gains in math during summer break. Younger kids are more prone to summer slide learning loss because of their stage in development, and children from low-income families are disproportionately affected, leading to a potential impact to their education that can last for years.
JA encourages real-world learning over the break. With these resources, kids can:
- Explore potential careers they might not learn about in school through the virtual JA Inspire career fair and exploration platform. Middle and high school students have the chance to connect with real Arizona employers and get an idea of what possible opportunities interest them.
- Learn the importance of being a contributing member of their community by taking on chores to help learn about their role in a family unit and give them a glimpse at what is required of community members for a community to run well. An effective tool is myjobchart.com which helps parents set up and track chores for their children, along with prompting discussions about saving, giving, and spending.
- Prepare for the future with basic work readiness skills like writing a resume and interviewing. Check out www.jaaz.org/jainspireaz for great tips on resumes and interviewing for teens and young adults.
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You can continue to support your child’s education with free student and parent resources for elementary, middle and high school aged children at https://www.jaaz.org/programs/parent-student-resources.