With more than a year since Cities in Schools staff decided to make literacy a focus of the program, results are beginning to show improvement.
Students usually have summer learning loss. However, during the CIS Summer Day Camp, programs were implemented specifically to stop the regression and, in some cases, reverse it.
During the school year, students take benchmark tests to analyze learning growth. Most of the time, students' scores from the end of the school year to the beginning of the next school year show regression.
Philip Black, Cornerstone Foundation director of student achievement, has compiled test scores for students in Ardmore and Plainview who attended the day camp.
By working with Cornerstone, CIS staff can analyze this impact using statistics.
"We can now do number-based goals and objectives," explained CIS executive director Sara Kerley. "We can identify areas we aren't achieving in, and make improvements."
Based on the difference of scores, known as Rasch Unit (RIT), students who participated in the day camp show a majority retained or improved their learning during the summer.
"The RIT scores for the Summer 2013 Day Camp show that the students enrolled did indeed raise or maintain their literacy levels. The students who attended the program raised their math scores on average 0.5 points and reading scores on average 1.82 points," Kerley said.
In 2012, literacy activities were introduced. Counselors for each group of children were given activities to do with their groups.
In 2013, a certified teacher led literacy activities. Each group had a set time during the day to work with the teacher, as well as time to simply read books.
"With a teacher leading activities, we had more variety for children who continue through the program and greater meet the student needs," Kerley said.
In 2014, the staff plans to improve the scheduling of literacy sessions, as some were interrupted by field trips last summer.
The goal is, of course, for students to continue improving learning throughout the summer months.
"It's becoming more consistent," Black said. "What's great is that they are analyzing the program and asking what can we do to get better."