School may be out, but learning should never stop.
Summer learning loss — or what’s sometimes called “summer slide”— results in one of four Palm Beach County kindergarteners, first-graders and second-graders coming back to school with a drop in reading proficiency. Summer learning loss also is greater among lower-income children.
That’s why Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County proclaimed Thursday that July will be Summer Learning Month and July 12 will be recognized as National Summer Learning Day.
“Keeping children’s minds active during the summer is vital for them to be able to keep up with their peers,” said Lisa Williams-Taylor, CEO of Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County. “They need to continue reading and remain excited about learning. We want all children ready to start the new school year.”
Children’s Services Council has demonstrated its commitment to summer learning by:
- Dramatically boosting the amount of money available for summer camp scholarships in Palm Beach County. The Council approved spending up to $4.5 million this year so more than 4,500 children can go to camp. Last year, the Council allocated about $2.2 million for summer camp scholarships.
- Authorizing additional funds to offer expanded learning opportunities to 144 camps approved by the Palm Beach County Youth Services Department.
- Encouraging summer reading by distributing more than 100,000 free books in May to public school students from Pre-K to 5th grade. An additional 12,000 books will be distributed starting this week at 205 Summer BreakSpot sites in Palm Beach County. Summer BreakSpots offer nutritious meals at no cost to children during the summer. Sites include schools, parks and libraries.
In other business:
2018-2019 Budget - The Council agreed to provide the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser with a tentative 2.8 percent millage reduction for next fiscal year. The proposed rate of 0.6403 mills is subject to formal votes by the Council at the Truth in Millage hearings (TRIM) in September.
Institute for Child & Family Health - The Council learned Thursday that the Institute for Child & Family Health has had its accreditation suspended for up to 90 calendar days by Nonprofits First. Accreditation by Nonprofits First is a requirement to hold a contract with Children’s Services Council. Institute for Child & Family Health is contracted by Children’s Services Council to provide two programs— Child First and Light Touch for Success. The agency has until August 15 to provide documentation to Nonprofits First to determine eligibility for reinstatement. Institute for Child & Family Health leadership has expressed their commitment to follow through on the needed documentation and successfully resolve the matter.
Annual Planning Session - The Council met for four hours before its monthly meeting to discuss proposed refinements in programs and services for the upcoming fiscal year and beyond.
Children’s Services Council, a local special-purpose government created by Palm Beach County voters in 1986 and reauthorized in 2014, provides leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong. To learn more, please visit www.cscpbc.org.