ARETÉ SUMMER ACADEMY SEEKS TO PROVIDE A NO COST VIRTUE BASED ACADEMIC PROGRAM FOR YOUNG STUDENTS.
Summer is a key time for the personal and academic development of children—in 2007, a study by Alexander, Entwisle, and Olsen revealed that teachers spend up to 4-6 weeks in the fall re-teaching material that students forgot over the summer, which is popularly known as the “summer slide”. This “summer slide” accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower-income students and their higher-income peers according to Allington and McGill-Franzen. Areté Summer Academy aims not only to override this gap, but also to place students from the 1st to 5th grades at a significant academic advantage when they return to school in the fall. This program helps kids to maximize their productivity in the summer and nourish their appreciation for the subject material that they learn in school within a fun and dynamic environment rooted in human virtue. Areté is the Greek word for excellence, which is exactly what the program helps the kids to pursue in academics, in friendship, and in virtue.
Areté Summer Academy aims to inspire children (1st grade-5th grade) to work toward excellence in their academics, friendships, and family life. Our goal is to give them to tools and encouragement to help them to do just that.
2017: WHAT WE DID
In June 2017, Areté Summer Academy took place in the parish hall of Santo Nino parish. The program took place over the course of three consecutive weeks from 9:00am to 3:00pm. It included classes in Math, English, Science, and Art and a virtue talk and sports period each day. Snack was provided each day in the morning. The program incorporated games and activities throughout the day and each Friday was a fun activity and sports day with no classes. 17 children were registered for the program, but the number fluctuated throughout the weeks according to availability. Five teachers worked for the program and created lesson plans based on the summer bridge books, which are geared toward intensive summer learning. There were three separate levels: 1st and 2nd graders, 3rd and 4th graders, and 5th graders.
2018: WHAT WE DID
In 2018, we expanded the number of registered students for each session. The program will continue to take place at Santo Nino parish hall. We had one 2 week session (June 18th-29th) at theSanto Nino parish hall and one 1 week session (July 16th-20th) at Divine Providence church. The course plan and division of levels remained the same, and we expanded our staff from 5 to 10 volunteers. For 2018, we added the aspect of mentoring to the program—in which the kids each had a one-on-one discussion with a particular teacher about how to practically implement the goals of the program into their own lives in a group setting.
2019 AND BEYOND
For 2019, we will continue to hold Arete Summer Academy at Divine Providence church. We hope to expand our capacity from 35 students to 60 and with that, expand our teacher staff from 10 to 15. We will continue our mentoring program and are happy to continue to provide a lunch and a snack for the kids who attend our program thanks to the generosity of our supporters.