Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Metro: Schooled on the summer

For Metro:

School’s out — but that doesn’t mean you and your kids should ditch the books. “Research shows kids lose ground over the summer when they’re not in school,” says Ron Fairchild, executive director of the National Center for Summer Learning. “As communities, we need to figure out how to engage kids.”

Don’t worry — this doesn’t have to be as dreadful as the regular school year, and there are options for learners of all age.

Learn on vacation
If your hometown is too small for you, try running away to another country through a summer study abroad program like Global Student Experience. Attend universities throughout the world, including Argentina and Spain, while learning the language and the country’s past and present.

Mix it up
Try taking classes at a different school, like Harvard Summer School, with mostly open admissions. The school offers, among regular classes, English Language Programs, study abroad programs, secondary school programs, and courses for teachers.

At your own pace
Instead of spending four years earning your degree, earn credit over the summer and do it in three years. Manchester College in Indiana offers the Fast Forward Program, where students take summer online courses.

Get your hands dirty
Green Mountain College in Vermont offers Farm Life Ecology, where students receive hands-on farm operation experience, caring for livestock while taking classes. “The experience helps students understand how consumption is tied to production,” says Kenneth Mulder, Cerridwen Farm manager. “[It allows] them to explore issues about energy, agriculture and sustainability.”

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