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Glenn County Education Program Aims To Prevent Summer Learning Loss

A Glenn County summer education program finishes up its fourth year today.

It’s part of the Summer Matters Initiative, a statewide program intended to prevent learning loss that can happen in students over the summer. That backsliding is more pronounced in students from poorer backgrounds, so a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation established Summer Matters in some of California’s needier communities.

Phillip James is coordinator of expanded learning programs at the Glenn County Office of Education. He said, in a district where close to 80 percent of students are eligible for subsidized lunches, engagement is vital. Both Orland and Willows were full to capacity this summer, serving 160 kindergarten through eighth grade students each.

He said the goal is to focus on participation and engagement — not remediation. The district’s bare minimum goal is to prevent learning and English fluency loss, and James says they’ve met that goal, though in most cases students show improvement by the end of the summer.