Georgiasummer.org Helps Kids Thrive While School’s Out
Summer started early this year as schools across Georgia closed their doors to protect the health and safety of students and teachers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Public and private partners rallied to support children’s learning and health during the closures—and that support has continued into summer.
GeorgiaSummer.org features more resources than ever before to help families find healthy food, safety tips, summer camp and child care information, and resources that will keep children engaged in learning and literacy.
“Providing opportunities for continued learning during the summer months is essential,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “That’s even more true now as schools and students cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and potential interruptions to learning.”
GeorgiaSummer.org aims to pull together resources and information developed by public and private partners across the state, including the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), Georgia Family Connection Partnership, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia Public Library Service, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.
The Get Georgia Reading Campaign again teamed up with Clear Channel Outdoor Americas for a public service campaign. Billboards across the Metro Atlanta area, courtesy of Clear Channel’s Atlanta Division, are pointing to the website.
“If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 public health emergency, it’s that online resources are invaluable in times of crisis, and collaboration is the best way to bring that information together quickly,” said DECAL Commissioner Amy Jacobs. “We’re proud to partner with Get Georgia Reading and its related agencies and advocates to create this one-stop shop for children and families this summer.”
Research shows that students who don’t read can lose up to three months of reading ability over the summer. This phenomenon, known as summer slide, can lower achievement potential and widen the achievement gap. Fortunately, this is preventable. Children who read and learn during the summer may even show some growth in their reading ability.
Parents and families can use the site to:
• gain access to high-quality digital learning resources, including Georgia Public Library Service’s virtual summer reading program and thousands of free digital books from Renaissance myON;
• find meal assistance;
• learn more about summer safety; and
• locate safe, licensed summer programs and virtual camps.
“We encourage community leaders, librarians, educators, and parents to help spread the word,” said Get Georgia Reading Campaign Director Arianne Weldon. “We hope everyone will stay connected by sharing photos, videos, and stories that show how these tools are being incorporated into everyday life using the hashtag #SchoolsOutGA.”
Families and communities may also visit getgeorgiareading.org/coronavirus to receive the latest updates about COVID-19 this summer including information about tracking COVID-19 and staying safe, school reopening information, guidance on meal and financial assistance, and free learning resources.
If you have any questions or comments, please email GGR@gafcp.org.