BURR RIDGE – More than 575 students took part in School District 181's growing Summer Learning Program that has seen enrollment numbers more than double since 2011.From June 12 to July 3, the program provided a series of classes primarily at Prospect School, for children in kindergarten through seventh grade.
"It grows every year," District Spokesperson Bridget McGuiggan said. "It's become its own school during the summer, it's that big."
The program offers students a host academic classes to catch up or get ahead on school work as well as fun-based activities. Several summer campers opt for a combination of both.
"Parents have as much flexibility as they want," McGuiggan said. "It's totally up to the family what kind of mix they want to do. Whatever they think will be best for their student."
The district also offered a “6th Grade Boot Camp,” where the soon-to-be middle schoolers practiced skills ranging from how to follow a class schedule to using a combination lock, McGuiggan said.
"For students who may have anxiety about (middle school), those classes help to make them feel more comfortable when school starts," she said.
The enrichment and advanced learning courses mixed individual and group work, she said
Many classes incorporated technology to help students expand their learning opportunities, such as keyboarding and digital art. Other classes included music lessons, hands-on math and science activities, theater, art and creative writing.
“Our teachers did a phenomenal job planning and leading a series of courses that were engaging for students," Summer School Administrator Rocky May said in a press release. "The classes were not only educational, but also helped students look forward to coming back to school.”
District 181 students return to school August 25, 2014.
The summer learning program is available to any students in the area, not just those enrolled in District 181, McGuiggan said.
For more information regarding next summer's program, contact the District Administration Center at 630-861-4900.
Summer Learning Program enrollment
244 students in 2011
355 students in 2012
531 students in 2013
575 students in 2014