The Bakersfield City School District has always offered traditional summer school for youngsters who aren't proficient in reading and math, but this summer for the first time it also will make so-called Summer Learning Centers available to all students.
The centers will be located at 10 campuses throughout the district, and any one of the roughly 26,000 students now enrolled in transitional kindergarten through seventh grade will be eligible to attend from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays June 10 to July 11.
The learning centers will be staffed with three teachers each who will be working with children on curriculum in a special summer learning packet that every student who will attend a BCSD school in the fall will receive at the end of the school year.
The packet will include flash cards, work sheets, essay assignments and a reading program, said Nancy Olcott, BCSD's director of curriculum and standards.
The idea is to keep students from falling behind over the long summer break, especially those from impoverished families, she said at Tuesday night's BCSD school board meeting.
"They don't go to summer camps. They don't go on long trips with their parents. We wanted to provide as many of those rich opportunities as we can for all students," she said.
All of the centers will have a mini library and a computer lab where students can take virtual field trips and get a stamp in a "Summer Adventure Passport." Students also can earn up to 15 pins for achieving various milestones, an incentive program modeled after the badges children earn in scouting.
It's not clear yet how much the program will cost, but funding will come out of the district's general fund, Olcott said.