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School programs helping to reduce 'summer slide' in students

More than 2,000 students have taken part of the Bridge Program in Hilliard, this summer, helping to prepare them for the upcoming school year.
Credit: WBNS-TV (File)

A teacher does what a teacher does for their students.

“Kids,” Holly Hammersmith said. “I feel like that is the cliché answer, but we love the kids. We’re here for the kids. We’re here for the smiles. We’re here for the lightbulbs.”

Hammersmith, an educator in the Hilliard City Schools District, has spent a month of her summer in the classroom.

“It’s been a wonderful experience,” she said.

The Bridge Program was available free to students in grades K-8. There was a two-week session in June and Friday marked the last day of a two week stretch in July.

Matthew Sparks, the principal at Beacon Elementary, said the program offers critical literacy and math instruction helping to educate students who might have fallen back during COVID instruction, and helping them to be ready for the upcoming school year.

“We had so many kids in different learning modes last year that to have that traditional classroom this summer, even though it was only for two weeks, we saw lots of growth from our students in English and math,” he said.

Filling the gaps and helping to bridge where students are to where they’re about to be.

“We’re making sure that kiddos have that boost in education to make sure that we don’t have that summer slide,” Hammersmith said. “To make sure that we are meeting them to make sure they are ready for that next grade level.”