Tuesday, April 17, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A statewide campaign kicked off Tuesday offering parents programs to keep their kids physically and mentally active over the summer. Educators are trying to help parents combat the so-called ''summer brain drain.'' Studies show those kids who do nothing academically over the summer lose about two months worth of learning. The state's ''Summer Matters'' campaign can help parents find summer learning programs for their kids.
Studies show that children who don't participate in some kind of summer learning and enrichment program fall behind academically more so in math than in reading. ''When they don't reinforce the skills and practice the content they learned during the year, they start the next school year behind,'' said Jennifer Peck with the Partnership For Children And Youth. This is especially true for low-income children who can't afford to pay for programs. ''Because of the budget cuts, it's not there where it used to be,'' said.
Facing yet another budget deficit, the state and most cities don't have the money to fund programs, but foundations and corporations do. Muhammed Chaudhry is with the Silicon Valley Ed Foundation. ''This is their future work force, so science, technology and math are very important to us,'' he told ABC7. 75 corporations in Silicon Valley are helping to fund programs like ''Stepping Up To Algebra.'' For one month in the summer, 1,000 underserved kids at 30 schools in Silicon Valley and in the South Bay will get help with their math skills.
In San Francisco, the Recreation and Park Department is expanding its summer programs for kids ages 3 through 17. Michelle Jacques-Menegas is a mother of two in San Francisco. She has relied on SFKids.org as a source for free or low-cost summer programs. ''I think people register in January, but I believe that there's many programs. Alot of the Park and Rec programs, they've got space until the last minute. So, check it out. Don't give up,'' she said.