The Philadelphia-based Springboard Collaborative this summer helped students at Kuumba Academy and Great Oaks Charter avoid the "summer slide," meeting ambitious growth goals toward grade level reading. The 211 students who attended the six-week program gained an average of 2.3 months of reading growth, while preventing the three-month loss in reading skills that's often expected during summer break, for a net gain of 5.3 months.
"I enjoyed the incentives, but I enjoyed the partnership from teacher to parent even more, because I think that's definitely necessary for any child's success," said Zaniah Camille, who went through the program with her son, Zayden. "They provided strategies to help parents have patience with their children, because you have high expectations, but sometimes we forget that they're still learning and you have to break it down, so they're successful and you're successful as well."
The Community Education Building, the first educational partner to bring Springboard Collaborative to Delaware, sponsored the program with support from the Capital One, the Fanz Foundation, and CSC.
Linda J. Jennings, chief executive officer of the Community Education Building, said the staff plans to bring the Springboard program back in the summer of 2019, and hopes to add a Springboard-based after-school program for students in the building during the 2019-20 school year.
"Here is an outcome that is real and tangible and was felt inside the classrooms as these teachers started the school year," Jennings said. "Springboard's program brings together all the right components for student improvement, and it made a difference not only for these students and their families, but for the teachers as well."
Coaches from the Springboard Collaborative trained teachers from both Kuumba and Great Oaks during a rigorous five-week professional development program in how to differentiate lesson plans, lead small-group instruction, monitor weekly student progress, lead engaging parent workshops and design effective home-based reading interventions for struggling students.
During the six-week summer program:
"¢ Nearly two-thirds of students' families received home visits from the teachers.
"¢ 2,325 books were distributed.
"¢ 93.3 percent of the students received individualized plans for reading at home.
"¢ 98 backpacks and 70 tablets were awarded to students who met their reading goals.
"Our collaboration with Springboard gave our teachers great resources to fully engage our families in the literacy growth of their children," said Samantha Connell, an ELA teacher coach at Kuumba Academy. "From access to high-quality books, at home access to online literacy resources and workshops with easy to use tips on reading at home, Springboard helped us help our families."
"The Springboard program helped provide our families with tools and strategies with which to support their students in their reading growth," said Stephanie Toronto, director of student support services at Great Oaks Charter School. "Our teachers were provided with professional development, resources and guidance to provide high-quality instruction for our struggling readers."