Did you know that summer break produces an average of one month learning loss in average children? It’s even more pronounced in lower income families. That’s according to a study by Harris Cooper, a psychology professor at Duke University, formerly of the University of Missouri where his research took place. Parents today juggle a thousand things and while summer has to be chock full of activities for their kids, often times learning is forgotten. If the school isn’t doing it, then the parents sure don’t have time, right?
Tonight on Twitter, however, parents can start reversing the trend of summer learning loss by participating in the first-ever Camp What-A-Wonder. A virtual “camp” run through Wonderopolis, a parent-child family learning blog run by the National Center for Family Literacy, Camp What-A-Wonder is a live Twitter chat among parents and a facilitator who will guide “campers” through ideas to engage families in learning while school is not in session across most of the U.S. The Twitter chats are free and virtual, so any parent or child can attend. All they need is a web browser and to know how to follow the #wonder hashtag on Twitter. They only need a Twitter account should they want to ask questions or engage.
Camp What-A-Wonder will run every Thursday from 8 p.m. ET until 9 p.m. ET through August 11. The kick-starter topic for the chat will be the Wonder of the Day on Wonderopolis. Tonight’s topic is “Happy Campers” which centers the chat experience on useful outdoor skills and tips. The ideas shared in the chat should serve as inspiration for parents to share with their children to foster more proactive summer learning.
Next week’s is focused on bugs. Not sure I’m down with that one, though my son will enjoy it.
As you hopefully know by now, I am on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Family Literacy. Multi-generational literacy is a passion project of mine. It’s not just about reading. It’s about learning. And it’s not limited to children, either. Wonderopolis and Camp What-A-Wonder are tools that parents can use to supplement or even overtake the learning their children get at school. The more they learn, the more they’ll earn. We’re nothing if we let education slip past us. These are easy and free tools we hope you take advantage of as a parent, a student or just an interested party.
And from a social media standpoint, Camp What-A-Wonder is an example of how a national non-profit can offer valuable content to serve its mission on a social channel, building relationships and trust among the online community. Perhaps it can inspire your organization.
Our hope is that the Wonderopolis activity on the blog, its Facebook page, Twitter account or even during Camp What-A-Wonder can inspire you to engage in learning with your children. If just one family does it, we’ve done our job.
Join us tonight, would you? See you at 8 ET with the hashtag #wondercamp.
Oh … and the main supporter behind this effort is Verizon’s Thinkfinity — a free educational resource site for teachers, parents and students that includes an online community and training and educational tools for teachers of all kinds.