Working at various educational non-profits over the past 7 years, one of the most significant lessons I've learned is that regardless of where the school is located, all students yearn to learn and can learn with the right motivation, proper attention, and adequate resources.
We’ve all heard the research on urban schools and summer slide. It goes a little something like this: summer slide is when students, especially those from urban school districts, lose some of the progress they made during the previous school year.
This an especially regressive process to go through for students when some of their schools can be below the grade level standards and they are expected to know new concepts entering school in the fall.
At B-SAFE, we recognize this opportunity to provide students with an academic but playful platform to encourage them to reach their true academic potential.
Three of the main concepts that we instate in our summer camps are community, learning, and fun. After four weeks of intense preparation and research, the Academic-Team has come up with curriculum that speaks to the theme of the summer, based of one of Michelle Obama’s famous quotes on community: “When they go low, we go high.” Our curriculum incorporates fun academics through project based learning.
During my first week at B-SAFE, I was nothing less than overjoyed to see yearning for learning take place in my classroom. I found that students were ready and excited to be learning about new topics. Being a STEM specialist/teacher and making an engaging math/science curriculum can be tricky due to the stereotypes that it is difficult. However, kids were so excited and ready to learn about new topics this week. When I announced the final projects to them they all seemed to be excited to create their 3D cities and their aquarium diagrams. In class, students were actively participating and were happy to share what they knew about climate change, pollution, and sea animals. We make learning fun here and at B-SAFE and want to give students the opportunity to both learn and be prepared for the fall.
By Christina Okezie, Academic Team
Christina Okezie joins the B-SAFE program as a Lumpkin Institute Fellow from Wellesley College and will be making the summer curriculum as part of the Academic-Team. Christina is a junior from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (about 20 miles north of Detroit) and is majoring in Political Science and Education Studies. For as long as she can remember, she has always been interested in teaching and finding ways to stimulate learning through a more hands-on and interactive curriculum. Her first experience in tutoring started in 6th grade when she was dually enrolled in middle school and high school and was tutoring high school students in math. Christina is passionate about helping students reach their full potential and seeks to discover curriculums, resources, and policies that help with that effort.