It’s not too early to think about summer plans 

click to enlarge Kids are natural learners, and the joy of learning does not end when school lets out.
  • Kids are natural learners, and the joy of learning does not end when school lets out.

Well, January is about over. Time to start thinking about summer.

Wait. What?

I'm not kidding. Our kids are in class and learning right now, but they actually fall behind if they don't stay academically challenged over the summer break.

Here are some sobering facts:

Math: Most students lose about two months of what they learned in math over the summer months. Reading: Low-income students lose more than two months' progress in reading. Health: Students lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most -- particularly children at high risk of obesity -- can gain weight more rapidly during summer break.

Parents consistently tell me that summer is the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do. They know kids are natural learners, and the joy of learning does not end when school lets out.

So how do we make the most of summer learning time?

To the rescue!

We are so lucky here in San Francisco because our city is a world-class center for the arts, technology, food and science ... the list goes on and on.

And there are programs for kids in all of these areas and more. But how do you find them?

That's where the San Francisco Summer Resource Fair on Feb. 7 comes to the rescue. Families can meet representatives from 170 organizations that provide summer camps and classes. Come and find some fun things for your kids to do over the summer months at this free event co-sponsored by the Department for Youth, Children and their Families, the Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Unified School District.

I know, you're thinking, "I've got plenty of time." 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 him 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 in an engaging, well-run program, they will be learning.

Summer learning fun

What: Summer Resource Fair When: Feb. 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Balboa High School, 1000 Cayuga Ave.

Can't make it to the fair? Check out www.sfkids.org/summer-programs

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