Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 21

8. If You Build It, They Will Come.
But will they keep coming back? At
a conference for the Association of
Children's Museums, I remember
one presenter saying, "They should
be crying on the way out, not on the
way in." Think about the goals of your
summer program. How can you meet
those goals while creating a unique
summer experience that makes kids
want to come back?
Learning can be fun and engaging,
and the best programs are the ones
where the students have so much
fun they don't even know they are
learning! For example, our local
baseball team and their mascot visit
our camp to open car doors and have
lunch with our campers. We play loud,
fun music in the hall and give students
plenty of opportunities to explore
their interests.
Our first year of camp, the
Charleston County School District
reported that 63 percent of students
who attended the full six weeks of our
summer camp had no summer learning
loss as reported on their spring and fall
Measure of Academic Progress (MAP)
scores, and every year since we have
had a waiting list of campers.
Ask yourself: What unique experiences do we provide that keep students
coming back for more?

9. Embrace Creativity and
Innovation. Summer is the time
to get out from behind the desks
and break out the dance shoes, art
smocks, clay, and fabric. We focus
on arts integration at ECM and
are so lucky to have Board Chair
Scott Shanklin-Peterson. Peterson is
the former senior deputy chair of
the National Endowment for the
Arts and currently a senior fellow
in the College of Charleston Arts
Management Program, so she knows
the power of the arts.
"You can walk into a school and
see the art on the wall ... or not
on the wall ... and know if it's a
good school. The arts really make
a difference," she says. Creativity
and innovation are key 21st century
skills. They can and should be
developed by all students and be at
the heart of all you do, no matter
what your mission is.
Ask yourself: What is our main focus,
and how can we ensure that it reflects
21st century skills?

10. Location, Location, Location.
Choosing to have a summer program
at your school is convenient for you,
but is it the best choice for your students? Wayne State University's Math
Corps (WSU) in Detroit knows how
to do it. This academic enrichment
and mentoring camp brings middle
and high school students together,
with college students and mathematicians sharing in the teaching and
learning of mathematics in a university
setting. The camp is based on the idea
of creating a self-perpetuating "corps"
in which students go through the
program and return as mentors and
tutors, passing their knowledge and
values on to younger students, who in
turn do the same. What a great way
to affect many more students just by
choosing your location wisely.
Ask yourself: Where is the coolest
possible place to have our summer
program? And if you are in a school or
community center, make it feel and look
different for better summer engagement, attendance, and relationships. *

Robin Berlinsky is the executive director of Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) in
Charleston, South Carolina.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018

Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover1
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover2
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 1
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 2
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 3
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 4
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Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover3
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