It’s never too early to start planning for summer learning activities 

We talk a lot about what our kids are learning in school. But did you know we also know a lot about what happens when they’re not in school during the summer vacation?

Here are some facts:

Most students lose about two months of what they learned in math over the summer months.

Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement.

Students lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most — particularly children at a high risk of obesity — can gain weight more rapidly during summer break.

Parents consistently say that summer is the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do.

A child’s need to be learning does not end in May when the school doors close for a few months. They need to stay active and engaged and it helps them stay on track academically when they return to school in August.

To the rescue!

We are so lucky here in San Francisco, a world-class center for the arts, technology, food and science (the list goes on) so there must be places for kids to learn about these and other things in the summer. But how do you find them?

That’s where the San Francisco Summer Resource Fair on Saturday comes to the rescue. This event is free (co-sponsored by the Department for Youth, Children & Their Families, the Recreation and Parks Department and the San Francisco Unified School District) and is where families can meet representatives from dozens of organizations that provide summer camps, classes and more. Come meet all these wonderful summer educators and find some fun things for your kids to do over the summer months.

I know you’re thinking, “But it’s only March!” I’m a dad, too, and I know how fast summer can creep up on all of us. It’s time to plan ahead and secure a spot for your child in a program that will help them grow and learn during the summer months.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to tell the kids they are avoiding summer learning loss. If they are having fun with engaging, well-run programs, trust me, they will be learning.

Richard A. Carranza is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Summer programs

How to find information about summer programs for kids:

San Francisco Summer Resource Fair

When: Saturday, 10 a.m-2 p.m.

Where: Balboa High School, 1000 Cayuga Ave.

Can’t make it to the fair? Go here for more info: (under Family Resources)

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