It's nearly - really, officially - summer in Arkansas, and that means lots of fun. (We're thinking swimming, picnics, summer camps, fireworks, lightening bugs and watermelon. Ooh, and can you say s'mores?) But, while we're all ready for a well-deserved break, we also want to be sure to help kids maintain the skills they've built up throughout the school year. Without educational activities during summer months, research has shown that students experience significant learning loss … which can add up to a month or more of grade level equivalency in math and reading. To help parents and students across the state battle summer learning loss, we're proud to provide you with a HUGE range of local and national public media resources.
Depending on your plans or location, educational opportunities and summer programs may not always be easy to work into your schedule or budget. But that doesn't mean the kids in your life don't have materials available to them! We're excited to offer all sorts of resources and broadcasts specially designed to encourage summer learning. So what, exactly, might those resources look like? Well, read on!
Get started with us by visiting the AETN Kids page to sign up for the AETN Kids Club. Every month, we'll send you our educational monthly newsletter filled with all sorts of goodies, like info about special children's programs, family activity ideas, book suggestions, upcoming events, healthy recipes, contests and more. And, while you're on our Kids' page, be sure to keep an eye out for our new educators and parents pages. We'll be making changes (and adding great new material) as the summer moves along!
If your kiddos love Little Rock Museum of Discovery's "Mad Scientist" Joel Gordon, boy, do we have a treat for you! Joel is the host of our recently launched STEAM Laboratory, where we discuss science, technology, engineering, arts and math. We'll be adding new episodes all summer long and helping kids learn with experiments and demonstrations along the way.
We're proud to be an outreach partner in the Arkansas Grade-Level Reading Campaign, whose goal is that in 2020 all Arkansas children will read at grade level by the end of third grade. If your little ones are in grades K-3, check out the information ARGLR provides about summer learning loss prevention on the campaign website at: ar-glr.net.
Looking for a little direction or the tools you need to help your children succeed during the summer? That's exactly what this extensive site is for! Designed to help families and educators maximize digital learning, AETN PBS LearningMedia provides instant access to tens of thousands of digital resources, like videos, games, audio clips and photos.
A resource you may already know very well, PBS Kids continues to share an enormous assortment of free and educational resources that help encourage young learners to continue exploring over summer vacation! In addition to seven more weeks of special summer programming, you can check out all sorts of online resources at pbs.org/kids.
6.) PBS & Pottery Barn Kids
Through Aug. 26, find activities and tips from PBS Kids, including a "PBK Favorites" booklist, and Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge certificates and bookmarks at potterybarnkids/read.
Check out the Summer Reading Adventures hosted by education.com to find a ton of summer reading resources - including one of our favorites, a Do-It-Yourself Reading Camp with everything you need to host 10 weeks of learning fun from home. (We especially love that each camp week includes a dozen projects and activities bursting with PBS Kids content.)
8.) PBS, Scholastic & WordGirl
As the national "Ambassador of Summer Reading," WordGirl is challenging kids to read every day in Scholastic's Summer Challenge! Learn more about the free, online reading program where kids can log their reading minutes to earn rewards at:
Who says mom and dad are the only ones who can prevent summer learning loss? Grams and Pops interested in helping their grandchildren build their literacy skills have access to great activities they can do together at grandparents.com.
But, just in case you're a tad concerned that we're placing all the focus on summer reading, be sure to check out PBS Kids' "It All Adds Up" program for help building math skills. This project encompasses more than 100 games and apps, and many other multiplatform tools, like the PBS Parents Play & Learn App and our team of Math Mentors, who provide tips and ideas for helping the kids in your life to learn early math concepts and to integrate math activities into everyday routines. Learn more at pbskids.org/lab, where PBS gathers games, apps and offline activities for kids ages 2-8.
And, as a bonus, feel free to stop by AETN Headquarters in Conway if you're ever in the neighborhood to pick up your own free PBS Kids Summer Reading Chart and bookmark! We have plenty to share and will be happy to pass them along - first come, first served, of course!
Arkansas Educational Television Network Headquarters