Summer Fun School is an interactive program to combat learning loss and food insecurities, keep our community’s kids on track and ensure families get the support they need. This program reaches children and caregivers in vulnerable communities — nurturing creative thinking, strengthening family connections, feeding families, fostering school success, and cultivating partners.
With the support of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton in 2021 and 2022, the Stark Library’s Bookmobile and staff partnered with a dozen community organizations visiting locations in Canton to provide children Kindergarten through third grade books to keep, storytimes, and activity kits. The innovative activities were based on the Reimagining School Readiness research designed to build reading, math and science, and executive function skills. Families also received shelf-stable meals and incentives for participating and working with their children every day.
We learned along the way how to make quick changes to fit the needs of each neighborhood and summer camp, adapting our own goals and expectations. After seeing the success of Stark Library’s efforts, the Akron-Summit County Public Library was interested in offering the program to students in their community. The two libraries collaborated to receive the Ohio Department of Education Accelerated Learning grant in 2023 to address learning loss expanding the program through grade five in two counties.