2015 Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership (DEEP) Summer Reading Programs

The Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership (DEEP) is a collaborative of community leaders and organizations committed to improving educational outcomes for children living in the Diamond Neighborhoods. All of DEEP’s work is focused on the long-term goal of ensuring that students in its partner schools can read proficiently by the end of the third grade. This work includes multiple initiatives that address barriers to success, including reducing summer learning loss and providing enriching learning experiences for the youngest children in our community.

It has been a busy summer for DEEP. Here is a recap of what the young bright minds in the Diamond have been up to:

Summer Readers-Future Leaders Extended Learning Programs

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With the support of the San Diego Unified School District, DEEP helped to implement summer learning programs at three Diamond school sites this summer. These Summer Readers-Future Leaders programs, which served more than 250 students from Chollas-Mead, Horton, and Johnson Elementary Schools, helped rising second and third graders reduce the learning loss that often occurs during school breaks. Students participated in small-group literacy instruction with their classroom teachers, art-linked-to-literacy dance and visual arts classes with Young Audiences San Diego, outdoor hands-on science activities connected to their classroom reading at the Earth Lab with Groundwork San Diego, visits to the Malcolm X Library to check out books, and afternoon swimming lessons at the local Jackie Robinson Family YMCA. As the school district transitions all of its schools to a traditional calendar in the next few years, DEEP’s Summer Readers-Future Leaders programs will serve as a model for district-wide replication in other communities.

Summer Book Clubs

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In collaboration with Teach for America (TFA) and the Malcolm X Library, DEEP offered for a second summer weekly summer book clubs for students attending its partner elementary schools. Research shows that giving children books to read over the summer is not as powerful as providing them with structure and ongoing support as they read. Each week, students were assigned a new chapter to read in a book they were given to keep. Students then participated in book clubs with peers reading at their level. Volunteer TFA teachers led book clubs, which combined reading skills support with lots of fun. Many children took advantage of the library’s free-lunch program before each book club.

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Fun learning experiences aren’t just for the summer. As the new school year gets underway, DEEP is providing new ways to keep our community’s youngest students learning and engaged throughout the year. Coming up, DEEP’s 0-5 Working Group partners are planning the launch of three free workshops for childcare providers in the Lincoln High School feeder pattern. This Childcare Provider Workshop Series aims to enrich the learning experiences of young children in childcare so they are ready to fully participate when it is time to start school.

If you are a licensed childcare provider serving families in the Diamond Neighborhoods, please keep an eye out for an e-mail invitation from the YMCA Childcare Resource Service to register for a free workshop on Saturday, September 19, about the “Power of Play in Children’s Early Literacy.” At this full-day workshop, you’ll learn ways to enrich the learning experiences of the children in your care and receive valuable free resources, like goody bags and books. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. You’ll also have the chance to win great door prizes from Lakeshore. Program partners include READ-San Diego, Words Alive, Reach Out and Read, San Diego County Family Child Care Association, the San Diego Public Library, San Diego State University, and the YMCA Childcare Resource Service.

Please contact DEEP Director, Gina Gianzero at ggianzer@pacbell.net for more information

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