An Interview with Amber Deckard: Summer Advantage
9.3.10 – Michael F. Shaughnessy – Summer Advantage USA is an amazing summer learning program for children (whom we call “scholars”) in grades K to 8 with research based summer learning programs designed to produce substantial academic gains.
Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico
1) Amber, I have been hearing a lot about Summer Advantage. What exactly is this program all about?
Summer Advantage USA is an amazing summer learning program for children (whom we call “scholars”) in grades K to 8 with research based summer learning programs designed to produce substantial academic gains. We engage our parents. Not only in an effort to impact our scholars’ success in Summer Advantage, but to encourage parents to be a partner in their child’s education. We are also committed to exposing our scholars to extraordinary leaders and resources in the community by taking field trips and inviting community leaders to be Friday guest speakers.
In short, Summer Advantage is a program committed to making a positive impact on the academic success of those that participate, but also equally invested in helping scholars develop socially and emotionally, as citizens in their community, and as future leaders.
2) Where are you located, and can you give us a kind of weekly sample program?
We hosted 13 sites this year across the state of Indiana and served 3,000 scholars. The program operates 6.5 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 5 weeks in the summer. On Mondays to Thursdays, outstanding certified teachers deliver research-based instruction in reading and math for 3 hours in the morning. After a nutritious lunch break, scholars participate in a wide range of enrichment courses from art to engineering. On Fridays, scholars expand their learning experience in the community. By engaging in service projects and visiting college campuses, scholars stimulate their dreams and aspirations for the future. They also become more aware of their community and their power to make a difference!
3) Do you do any pre-or post testing and what tests do you use?
We use a research-based test to identify the strengths and weaknesses of our scholars in effort to maximize their classroom time. We administer a pretest at the beginning of the program and a post test at the end of the program. This year we used the Iowa Tests.
4) Do you get the parents involved?
Parent involvement is an extremely important aspect of our program. We know that parental expectations and involvement are essential to our scholars’ success. We ask that all parents attend a parent orientation at the beginning of our program. It is a mandatory event. We also ask our parents to sign nightly reading logs, encourage them to visit the program and hold parent-teacher conferences midway through to provide an update to our parents on the progress of their scholar.
5) How about museums- surely an underutilized resource – do you have trips to museums?
We do!! Scholars visit museums, cultural centers and other community resources on field trips every Friday. Our scholars this summer visited: The Children’s Museum, The Indianapolis State Museum, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, and The Speedway Museum. They also visited local colleges.
7) Are students with special needs involved?
Absolutely, our program is structured so that there is one adult per every 12 scholars. If a student can excel in this environment, then Summer Advantage is a perfect fit.
Do you have a web site and what might one find there?
www.summeradvantage.org – Our website shares an overview of the Summer Advantage USA program and mission. It is a tool that we use tremendously when we launch our program for communication and updates with our parents. They can even complete their application online.
We’re also on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/SummerAdvantageUSA
Enter your email to subscribe to daily Education News!
- Education Technology
- Teachers Unions
- Charter Schools
- California Education
- Education Research
- New York Education
- Online Education
- UK Education
- STEM Education
- School Choice
- Cost of College
- Education Funding
- New York City Schools
- Julia Steiny
- Florida Education
- Education Reform
- Parent Involvement
- Texas Education
- Math Education
- C. M. Rubin
- Los Angeles Schools
- Obama Administration
- Chicago Schools
- 2012 Election
- New Jersey Education
- Pennsylvania Education
- Tennessee Education
- Teacher Training
- UK Higher Education
- Early Childhood Education
- Louisiana Education
- College Admissions
- Ohio Education
- Teacher Evaluations
- School Health
- Illinois Education
- Arne Duncan
- UK Politics
- Michigan Education
Plan your career as an educator using our free online datacase of useful information.
- Select a City Subject
- Culinary Schools in Bronx
- Culinary Schools in Buffalo
- Culinary Schools in Cobleskill
- Culinary Schools in Delhi
- Culinary Schools in Garden City
- Culinary Schools in Hyde Park
- Culinary Schools in Loch Sheldrake
- Culinary Schools in Morrisville
- Culinary Schools in New Rochelle
- Culinary Schools in New York
- Culinary Schools in Old Westbury
- Culinary Schools in Paul Smiths
- Culinary Schools in Sanborn
- Culinary Schools in Schenectady
- Culinary Schools in Selden
- Culinary Schools in Suffern
- Culinary Schools in Syosset
- Culinary Schools in Syracuse
- Culinary Schools in Utica
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Chula Vista
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Compton
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Fountain Valley
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Long Beach
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Los Angeles
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Monterey Park
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Norwalk
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Rancho Cucamonga
- Supply Chain Management Schools in San Bruno
- Supply Chain Management Schools in San Diego
- Supply Chain Management Schools in San Jose
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Santa Monica
- Supply Chain Management Schools in Stockton