Keep the Faucet On This Summer


“Summer school focused on reading with enrichment as well as physical activities can keep the achievement gap closed.”

When I was a kid the faucet in my backyard was almost always turned on in the summer.  Whether it was to have us kids running through a sprinkler on a hot day or to actually feed the grass beneath, the water flowed freely.  Not only did we play in summer, we read—like crazy!  My mom took us to the library at least once a week to borrow books by the armload as part of the summer reading program.  When we returned the books we’d make our reports to the librarian about what we’d read.  Then, the appropriate number of little foil stars would be placed beside our name on the very public chart for everyone to see. I loved it!  I’m not sure if my mom knew it at the time, but she was keeping the faucet turned on for us kids and as a result, I think, we did better in school.

The “faucet theory” suggests that during the school year the resource faucet is on for all students; regardless of the location, if school is open, the theory goes, that children have access.  Clearly, the summer months are different in the neighborhoods where Children’s Friend is present.  In fact, research shows that “disadvantaged students lose ground over the summer and advantaged students gain.  The pattern persists over the first five summers of schooling and accounts for the gap…between low and high socioeconomic children.”

This summer, as we have for the last four, the faucet will be running at full force in our Summer Learning and Enrichment Program (SLEP).  Specifically for children 3 to 5 years old, the SLEP is designed to focus on building early literacy skills through classroom experiences as well as out-of-classroom opportunities. Field trips to parks, museums, and other points of interest throughout the state where many of our kids have never been, are the highlight for both children and staff.  Children who attend our SLEP often show continued growth and development both socially and academically at the beginning of the school year.
Whether you are a family looking for an opportunity for your child or a donor looking for a great investment, consider “keeping the faucet on” this summer with Children’s Friend.

Kelly Wishart  kelly

Alexander, K. L., D. R. Entwisle, and L. S. Olson. 2001. Schools, achievement, and inequality: A seasonal perspective. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 23 (2): 171-191.

– Entwisle, D. R., K. L. Alexander, and L. S. Olson. 2001. Keep the faucet flowing. American Educator 25 (3).