ST. LOUIS – St. Louis area parents are racing to enroll their children into summer camps that include academic enrichment and socialization programs. The goal is to make up for learning loss during weeks of virtual learning.
Like most families, Kate Polokonis says her family struggle when their home was transformed into a classroom with little to no warning.
“I was a teacher and I taught writing,” said Polokonis. “I was in tears trying to teach my daughter how to write because I am not her teacher. I am her mom and we have a different relationship.”
Experts say thousands of Missouri students are not reaching their full potential amid the pandemic and those who lack resources—high-speed internet, tablets and computers, as well as support and guidance—are suffering the most.
“Students who have fewer resources over the summer are now going to be two summers and a whole school year of falling behind,” said Lisa Greening, project director with Turn the Page STL.
Parents determined to help their children improve in areas where they are falling behind are scrambling to get them into summer camps that meet their needs.
“A lot of camps and a lot of programs understand that the school year was tough for a lot of people,” said Zasmine Johnson, Blueprint4Summer. “So they are incorporating things like reading and literacy into their programs even if they aren’t traditionally academic camp.”
Research shows 82 percent of parents in the Gateway City area are planning to send their children to in-person camp this summer. Johnson says be sure to ask questions about hand washing, social distancing, and mask wearing to help protect your children.