How summer tutors helped kids beat the 'summer slide' this year

Many students have learning loss during the summer
Posted at 2:07 PM, Aug 24, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As summer winds down and kids get ready to return to the classroom, summer programs are finishing up after a busy few months.

"It was our biggest camp in a number of years, given the time students lost in school over the last year-and-a-half," said David Rust, CEO of Say Yes Buffalo.

They reimagined summer camp this year to cater to that need for 1400 students at 30 sites in Buffalo grades Pre-K to 6.

"Camps were really well attended and students were happy to be back, to be around peers, kids their own age," said Rust.

Before summer started, we warned you about that summer slide—when students lose learning gains they made during the school year. As a result, summer tutors like Sylvan Learning in Williamsville saw an increase in demand.

"So they’re coming to us and we’re helping them pick up the pieces, bridge that gap so they can continue on a grade level with their peers," said Christine Bosard.

So after three months of work--we asked, how did kids do?

"Some of them started a little slow, um we’re starting to see a light bulb click, students are meeting the goals they set with themselves, their parents and myself, they’re starting to say, ‘oh! Okay I think I know how to answer that, I know what I don’t understand how can I get there now," said Bosard.

It's especially hard for younger students who were in Pre-K when the pandemic started who will be experiencing school for the first time this fall, according to both Bosard and Rust.

"They’re swimming, they’re staying afloat, so we’re here to give them that extra support, the life raft so they can hold on and become more confident in their learning," said Bosard.

"There were certainly differences with younger students around, those that hadn’t experienced a school setting before that were coming to camp for the first time I think will be far better prepared to come to school this fall," said Rust.

Both will continue to offer services to students into the school year to help them with whatever they need.

"Given what this community’s been through over the last 18 months, but there’s a lot of good resources in place that I know adults are willing to help students with as we return to a healthy school environment this year," said Rust.

At Sylvan in Williamsville—they’re offering new learning sessions from 3:00–6:00 p.m. to help parents that are going back to work this fall; eight to 10 students can come down to their back room and unwind and get homework done.

Personalized tutoring and test preparation through Sylvan starts at $45 per hour.

To sign up, call (716) 580-3566.

To learn more about Say YES Buffalo's after-school programs, click here.