FasTracKids Summer Camps and COVID19 Learning Gap
The world has been living with the COVID 19 pandemic for six months and while there are signs of improvement, there are no signs that it will disappear. Science and medicine will have to take care of that. In the meantime, there has been a lot in the news about the world being in crisis. COVID 19 has created a health crisis. The closing of businesses has created an economic crisis. It has been very frustrating for all of us because we have no control over these situations. And yet, we are facing another potential crisis – an educational crisis – over which we do have some control.
All around the world, schools have been closed for months due to health and safety reasons. With very little notice, schools and teachers have tried to shift to on-line learning with much of the burden falling on parents. You parents have been trying to do the best you can to help your kids with their learning at home while for many trying to work from home at the same time. The challenges have been difficult – you’ve faced lack of proper preparation, lack of technology infrastructure, lack of computer resources, lack of time – just to name a few.
Unfortunately, schools continue to be closed, especially during the summer months. Without help, our kids are going to lose ground. Research has shown that for every month that a child is out of school – whether for summer vacation or because of COVID19 – they lose 4 weeks of literacy skills and 6 weeks of math skills. That’s just in what they have already learned. If you think about how they are also not learning new material, the loss doubles. The learning gap that children are facing all over the world is creating this potential educational crisis.
My name is Nancy Faunce and I’m President and CEO of FasTracKids International. We are committed to building young learners into strong learners. We believe passionately that the most important skills for the 21st century are to be agile and creative. Since we started in 1998, we estimate that 6.5 million students have developed the key foundational skills of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communications and confidence through FasTracKids programs. These skills have proven to provide our FasTracKids with many more options for their lives and their future.
One of FasTracKids key beliefs is that we are here to partner with you, our parents. When our Centers and schools were closed due to COVID19, FasTracKids quickly shifted to providing our Centers, schools and families with a virtual learning platform so that our FasTracKids could continue to develop those important learning skills interactively with their classmates and teachers.
So, what can we do to help avoid this educational crisis? We understand that you are facing on-line learning fatigue and burn-out. You are tired; your kids are tired. We need to make learning fun again. At FasTracKids, we take fun very seriously because we know our kids learn best when they enjoy what they are learning.
That’s the very reason why we created FasTrack Camps. They are designed to provide our kids with adventures such as traveling to Egypt or visiting an enchanted kingdom or studying dinosaurs or trying out different forms of art. They also provide very important stimulation and development that help a child build their school-readiness skills. We are conducting these FasTrack Camps in our Centers if they’re open and if not, as Virtual Camps.