The Summer Climb program in Sioux Falls is bigger than ever this year and expanding. The Sioux Falls School District teaches future first, second and third graders at Laura B. Anderson, Hayward and Hawthorne. This year, teachers are also preventing that summer slide in future fourth graders at Hayward.
Cashton Amundson has been spending his summers at school since the program began three years ago. There’s no place else he’d rather be.
“I learn new things. That means I can be smarter and know new things when I grow up,” Amundson said.
Administrator Kristin Skogstad says the “climb” is catching on. Three hundred students are taking part this year. That’s up from 225 last summer.
“Kids love to come to Summer Climb. It gives them an opportunity to continue their learning through the summer. We just really have found that our families have seen the growth in their students and haven’t witnessed that summer slide that sometimes happens with kids,” Skogstad said.
Last week, roughly 20 teachers at the three schools assessed each student’s math and reading skills.
“So we can identify where we need to start with them. So when they go into their math stations, they’re working on specifically what they need in order to get them ready for next year,” Skogstad said.
Not only does it help students with their reading and math, they also do something fun like going on field trips every week.
“They go on field trips. They do hands on science experiments. This week here at Hawthorne, they’re exploring archeology. So (Tuesday) they’re going to Mitchell,” Skogstad said.
Those exciting excursions are some of Amundson’s top reasons for wanting to come back each year.
“We get to meet new people and having fun,” Amundson said.
The Summer Climb program is paid for through title money at each school.