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The Summer Challenge: Why Keeping Up with Academic Learning Matters
May 2024

It may sound ironic, but the summer months are some of the most important in the school year. When the final bell rings and school doors close for the summer, it’s tempting to set aside textbooks and worksheets in favor of beach towels and video games. However, amidst the allure of carefree summer days, it’s important to remember that continued academic engagement is key to preventing the dreaded “summer slide” – the phenomenon where students lose academic skills and knowledge over the break.
While there’s not a magic formula for having the “right” amount of reading and math practice at home during the summer, the best way for young students to maintain academic momentum is to “stay in it.” For younger students, this could be as simple as reading books and having conversations about what they’ve read, or engaging in games involving numbers or counting. For older students, encouraging independent reading can help keep their minds sharp and engaged.
Summer reading of any kind is helpful for students. Whether it’s diving into a classic novel, exploring a non-fiction book on a topic of interest, or even enjoying comic books and graphic novels, the key is to keep those pages turning. 

Preparing for Future Challenges
Summer learning isn’t just about maintaining current skills—it’s also about preparing for what lies ahead. Whether it’s gearing up for more advanced classes in the fall or exploring new subjects and interests, summer learning can give students a head start and boost their confidence as they tackle upcoming academic challenges. Students can approach the new school year with enthusiasm and readiness by engaging in activities that stimulate their minds and foster curiosity.

Fostering Engagement and Curiosity
Learning shouldn’t be confined to the classroom, and summer provides the perfect opportunity for students to explore topics that pique their interest outside of the traditional academic setting. Whether it’s delving into a favorite book, conducting science experiments at home, or attending enrichment programs and camps, summer learning offers a chance for students to stay engaged, curious, and excited about learning.

Practical Tips for Summer Learning
How can students and parents incorporate summer learning into their summer routines? Here are a few practical tips:

  • Enroll in Summer Programs: Look for local summer programs, camps, or workshops that cater to students’ interests and academic needs.
  • Utilize Online Resources: Take advantage of online learning platforms, educational websites, and digital resources to supplement learning at home.
  • Read, Read, Read: Encourage daily reading habits by providing access to a variety of books, magazines, and articles that capture students’ interests.
  • Stay Curious: Encourage exploration and hands-on learning experiences, whether it’s through science experiments, art projects, or visits to museums and cultural sites.

While summer break is undoubtedly a time for relaxation and fun, it’s essential to recognize the value of keeping up with academic learning during this period. By preventing the summer slide, retaining information, preparing for future challenges, and fostering engagement and curiosity, summer learning sets students up for success in the classroom and life. So let’s embrace the summer challenge and make the most of this time to continue our educational journey!

Melisha Stiffler,
Elementary Principal


Thoughts from the Athletic Director…………
April 2024

In my time as the Athletic Director at Liberty Christian Academy, I have been humbled by the complexity of the job. So many pieces and parts have to work together each day behind the scenes to make sure things run smoothly. Some of those things include game schedules being up to date, uniforms being ordered and passed out, umpires having been scheduled and confirmed, coaches being properly trained, athlete’s physicals being up to date, and parents being well informed. 

It dawned on me recently that my constituent base is rather large. These individuals include athletes, parents, coaches, administrators, and officials. That’s a lot of people to make happy! In being totally transparent, it can be daunting and intimidating. I’ve always been one to want to make the “right” decision for everyone involved. But I’ve learned that decisions I deem right or correct are not always seen that way by others. 

To keep things in perspective, I ask myself, “Why do I do what I do”? The answer I always come back to is the kids. 

Teaching and disciplining student-athletes through the vessel of sports is why I do what I do. If you’re like me, you probably remember your coaches from your time in high school and middle school sports. For better or worse, you most likely remember their quirks and pep talks and they probably had an impact on your life. Coaches have a unique opportunity to interact with students on a different level. So many life lessons can be learned in the “classroom of sport”. For someone who gets competitive playing Monopoly and desires to disciple athletes in the Christian faith, there is no better job for me.

Why do you do what you do?

Sarah Griffin, Athletic Director