Our programs at On the Road typically take place after the school bell rings. But we also know that summer programming is an essential component of addressing the 6,000-hour learning gap, which negatively affects low-income students who have experienced far fewer enrichment opportunities than their peers.
By providing Career Enrichment Courses during the summer months, we help address summer learning loss, or when students lose some of their academic skills during the summer. This loss that occurs throughout summer continues to build over time and increase the learning gap for youth.
That’s why we’re dedicated to providing summer programs in our schools that directly address this gap while offering a safe and enriching environment for local youth.
We kicked off our summer programs last month with Career Enrichment Courses being held at Skyline Middle School and Harrisonburg High School for grades 6-12. And it has been a blast to spend this special season with our youth!
“Summer programming is in full swing and it has been so fun!” Emani Morse, our Director of Middle School Programs & Data, said. “After being at home for so long, everyone has been a little extra excited and engaged in our Career Enrichments. Field trips have been my favorite part as it has been very rewarding to watch the youth, our team, and the community interact in-person with one another again. This will definitely be a summer to remember!”
Emani during this summer’s Super Cycles Course with Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition.
Our middle school students have had the chance to take our Arts & Expression course and experience working with different mediums.
They’ve also had the chance to explore their strengths and passions during Find Your Grind, where youth have the chance to learn how to prepare for their future by learning more about themselves, where they want to be, and how to get there. They also had the chance to explore multiple career paths, including Animal Welfare & Related Careers with the local SPCA.
Youth learn photography with Dan Emmerman from DBE Photography and dancing at Friendly City Dance Room.
Animal Welfare & Related Careers Course with the local SPCA.
Additionally, we partnered with Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition for Super Cycles: Cycling & Related Careers in which youth had the chance to learn how to ride a bike and learn more about careers that are based on cycling and alternative forms of transportation!
Next week, our middle school youth will have the opportunity to participate in Game Changers where we use STEM Sports to combine scientific learning and sports to help students develop critical thinking, collaboration, and creative problem-solving skills that can be applied throughout their personal and professional lives.
Our high school youth are also busy with several summer intensives!
They’ve had the chance to explore recipes from around the world during Emerging Chefs. During the course, they had the chance to explore local food systems and talk about eating locally. The youth also took a field trip to visit the local farmer’s market, the bakery at Magpie, Chestnut Ridge Coffee, and Hobbit Hill Farm to pick blueberries that they used in subsequent recipes!
Our high schoolers will also have the chance to explore what it would be like to work in media. They will visit and chat with Harrisonburg’s Director of Communications about public relations, visit Q101 to learn about working in radio, and see what it’s like working with a drone during live TV broadcasts with WHSV!
They also will have the chance to learn about Sports Leadership and what it takes to make a professional sports game come together.
Our youth will get to spend time outdoors too and explore the environment in the Shenandoah Valley Outdoor Education Course. During this course, they will learn about the importance of bees and beekeeping in the area, as well the flora and fauna in the Shenandoah National Park.
When we look at this full roster of courses, we are so incredibly thankful to all the amazing people who help make these courses happen, including our wonderful On the Road team and all of our Community Teachers!
We know that through these diverse experiences, our youth are truly getting a better understanding of themselves and the opportunities available to them, while also getting a chance to connect with our community in a deeper way.
Kerry Morgan, our High School Program Coordinator says that’s been one of her favorite things.
“Being able to once again use the community as our classroom and take youth out into Harrisonburg has been so fun!”