Selma City Schools Start Summer Learning Event

Published 9:37 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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Selma City Schools kicked off its 2023 Summer Learning schedule with a Literacy Festival on Thursday. Scholars from Pre-K to third grade filled the auditorium at Selma High School to get excited about the summer learning programs that the district had to offer along with Reading and Math. With the focus of the district being on reading and math, it was important for the kids to get excited about them over the summer and not stop learning even though the school semester ends.

“It is so important that we end the year with a Literacy and Numeracy Festival just to say thank you to our teachers and our scholars for their hard work because throughout the year we have pushed really hard to make sure our scholars walk away with the content knowledge they need to be successful in the next grade level,” Chief Academic Officer for Selma City Schools Dr. Ozela Ford said. “Of course today was our opportunity to just say thank you and give them an opportunity to experience Literacy and Numeracy fun.”

The kids enjoyed a visit from Short Squirrel and the Magical Poodles who encouraged the scholars to read over the summer. Dyphelia Thrash, Director of Elementary Education and Literacy for Selma City Schools, said it’s important for scholars and parents to know that learning can be fun.

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“We are trying to get our parents on board,” Thrash said. “We were hoping that more parents would be here today so that they could see that they can see that summer learning will be fun and even though we don’t call it summer school anymore they can get a quick peak into what it will look like. We partner with the public library to present different opportunities and expose our kids to different things that they normally wouldn’t see every day.”

The school district has a goal of 1500 scholars to attend the summer learning program. Ford said the district has gone all in this year on bouncing back from low numbers from last year due to COVID.

“Before COVID we had made tremendous progress in both reading and math,” Ford said. “However, last year we did see a dip in both. This year we are expecting to see a rebound but a love for reading and a love for math doesn’t happen by chance. We have to be strategic. We have to make sure that what we are offering is what they need instead of offering a blanket curriculum. We try to meet our scholars where they are one student at a time.”

The scholars left the festival with a bag of six books. The books were an encouragement for the students to continue reading over the summer that way they would come back in the fall ready to go into their next grade.

“We realized that we had work to do in the area of literacy as a whole,” Thrash said. “So what we want to do is get students excited about continuing learning during the summer. Typically during the summer, their minds start to shut off and they just think of summer learning as another extended school. So we wanted to help them to understand that even though we are going to continue learning it’s still going to be fun. So, we want to motivate our scholars to attend our Summer Enrichment Learning program.”