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Beline Obeid

Maire seeks end to summer slide

The event also featured face painting. Pictured above, Maire mom Felisa Watkins-Ozier paints Grace Jarman’s cheek. Photos by Ann-Marie Smihal
September 19, 2013
Research has shown most students lose one month — sometimes more — of reading and math skills during the summer months.

Showing off their mustaches are, from left, Andrew Huffman, Rickey Hussey, Jean Konate, Malachi Mobley, Graham Gill and Colin Hoffman. All are second graders.
Known as summer slide, it often results in teachers using the first month or so having to re-teach material from the previous year.

Wanting to address this issue, last spring teachers and staff at Maire Elementary School developed Summer Bridge Learning packets of mostly reading and math materials for students. Each grade level had its own packet that students took home in June to complete before returning to school a few weeks ago.

As a reward, those students who completed their work were invited to a carnival Friday, Sept. 6, in the school gymnasium.

Organized and run by teachers and Maire parents, the carnival featured rock climbing, face painting, beanbag toss, a basketball shoot-out, jump rope, music and carnival treats such as soft pretzels, popcorn and nachos with cheese.

Supplies were donated and Maire’s PTO purchased several items as well.

“The students did all these things by grade level in the gym while the music blasted; tons of fun,” said Ann-Marie Smihal, second-grade teacher. “Many parents commented that they appreciated the work provided by the teachers and the incentive carnival because it helped them get their children to actually do the work without much pushing over the summer months.”

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