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Don't let the 'COVID slide' happen to your student this summer

Summer learning loss could be worse than ever this year because of the coronavirus.

TAMPA, Fla. — It's been called "the summer slide," you know that period over the summer where kids aren't actively involved in school work.  

They might not retain everything they learned in the previous school year and now for some, it might be even worse this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

This year, it's being dubbed the "COVID slide."  That's because all students were forced into virtual learning and for some kids, that situation may have put them way behind.

It was a new way of learning for most kids. Lessons were sent through email or apps and Zoom classes with teachers had a whole different set of distractions at home. 

But, be careful not to lump all students in this same bucket. 

Pinellas County Associate Superintendent Kevin Hendrick says some kids actually thrived learning this way.  

"There's less anxiety in some ways. There are less social pressures. There are less distractions of maybe being with friends in class. And so when it comes down to 'let me focus specifically on the academics,' some students have done well."

Others though may need a little help catching up. That's where the Summer Bridge Program comes in. Hendrick said it started this week.  

"Each theme is built around English language arts lessons and mathematics lessons based on standards that we know students need to be successful at the next grade level."

Yes, it is a virtual program.  

"We're trying to design something that doesn't require a lot of screen time, less than two hours a day, but is high quality and is specific to your individual child."

If you're not interested in the Summer Bridge Program for your child, there are some things parents can be doing to make sure their kids stay engaged. Like, plan some enrichment activities like reading books, visiting museums and checking out science in action.

Also, don't forget math. There are a ton of online resources with examples of how to keep your kids engaged in math since that's the subject where kids experience the most learning loss.

Parents can learn more about the Summer Bridge Program in Pinellas County here. 

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