Students in Detroit aren’t spending their break shoveling snow and hitting the after-holiday sales this year: they’re spending time learning.
Their parents are, too.
This year, Detroit Public Schools has kept 18 schools open over the winter break to provide extended learning opportunities for students, free meals and food baskets for families, and workshops for parents on budgeting and fiscal know-how.
The district’s first-ever “Holiday Learning Fest” was offered three days this week and will take place three days next week, from 10 am to 2 pm. Parents can also take home “academic toolkits” to use with their kids over the break.
All sites are also staffed with two teachers (one English Language Arts and one mathematics) as well as a large number of volunteers (more than 150) who are helping lead enrichment sessions with students.
According to a press release from the district, “During the break, we know that many of our children could benefit from a continuation of academic opportunities that serve as supplemental or remedial. We also know that in these difficult financial times, many of our children will not receive the adequate nutrition they normally receive through the DPS Office of Food Service,” said Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent for Academics.
Detroit may not be the only place setting up a winter session. A district near Columbus, Ohio is also offering a winter session over the holiday break, and a teacher at another Columbus area school has opened up his classroom to provide his high school students the opportunity to work on projects due when they return from break.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.