Friday, March 4, 2011

Waiting for Superman

“Every morning, in big cities, suburbs and small towns across America, parents send their children off to school with the highest of hopes. But a shocking number of students in the United States attend schools where they have virtually no chance of learning.”

Waiting for Superman, the documentary that is sweeping across the nation, paints a grim picture of the American public school system. The documentary tells the story of 5 students, all of whom struggle to get a decent education from dysfunctional school systems.

Here are some of the startling statistics that the documentary brings to light:
  • Out of 30 developed countries, students in the United States rank 21st in science and 25th in math testing.
  • There are 2,000 “dropout factories” in our country. A dropout factory is defined as a high school in which at least 40% of students do not graduate.
  • Every year, 1.2 million students exit high school without a diploma.
  • 68% of 8th graders cannot read at grade level

As the documentary explains, it will take many Supermen to help fix the system, and Camps across the country can play a huge role. Researchers have identified a phenomenon known as Summer Learning Loss in which kids experience a significant loss in skills and knowledge during summer vacation. Too many kids across the country spend their summers floundering in front of their televisions and computers-when they could and should be enriching and expanding themselves. Social skills, character building, physical fitness and self-esteem are just some of the many positive things that happen at Camp. Here’s an excerpt from an article from the American Camping Association-

“According to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and research conducted by Johns Hopkins sociology professor Karl Alexander, intentional summer programs, like camp, help stem summer learning loss – providing experiences that challenge children, develop talents, keep them engaged, and expand horizons.”

Summer Camps may not be Superman for all of the issues in education today, but Camp does have Super Powers than can help kids grow.

Waiting for Superman -- Official Website

Summer Learning Loss -- An Overview

American Camp Association -- Camp's Added Benefit-Summer Learning

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