2009 ANNUAL REPORT CINCINNATI PUBLIC SCHOOLS FIFTH QUARTER
Studies show that students who do not have access to books and other stimulation during the summer experience an average loss of reading achievement of more than two months from the end of the school year to the start of the next year. By the end of fifth grade, researchers have shown that summer learning loss by low income students results in their falling more than 2 years behind their middle class peers in reading and verbal achievement and 1.5 years behind in math. In order to close that gap, Cincinnati Public Schools created a Fifth Quarter for students at 13 targeted schools to continue in their schools with the same teachers and classmates without interruption from the end of the regular academic year on May 28 through June. Academic subjects were be offered in the morning, with lunch provided by CPS.
With assistance from the Cross Boundary Leadership Team, of which LNCIgc is a member, the school day will continue with enrichments and support services consistent with the community learning center goal to provide year round programming. Summer is the ideal time to provide children with outdoor, experiential learning opportunities. Leave No Child Inside – Greater Cincinnati coordinated outdoor learning opportunities for 13 Cincinnati Public Schools this summer. The LNCIgc collaborative is working toward a support system that will facilitate those opportunities for Fifth Quarter and beyond.
EARLY CHILDHOOD CONFERENCE
Leave No Child Inside-Greater Cincinnati has been asked by 4C for Children to develop a conference in April of 2009 to educate 250 child care directors and teachers on the importance of unstructured play in nature to healthy childhood development. The program will provide participants with examples of what local facilities are doing to foster those opportunities and will include training workshops. Additionally, the conference will encourage discussion about how child care facilities can enhance their space by incorporating more natural elements, and how those facilities without access to a natural setting might form alliances with organizations like parks and community gardens to provide children with access to those spaces.
PIONEERING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
Leave No Child Inside-Greater Cincinnati has been asked to participate in the Pioneering Healthy Communities project. This is a Centers for Disease Control grant to the YMCA national offices for several communities. Cincinnati was selected and it is a great opportunity for us to increase our efforts and our results. This team will work on policy changes and community-wide
efforts to improve health and fitness. The team includes participants from all areas of the community, from health organizations, schools, and faith-based organizations to urban planners and politicians.
DEVELOPMENT OF SUPPORT FOR SCHOOL GARDENS
In response to requests from schools wanting to create school gardens, we are working with a number of organizations including Granny’s Garden School, the Civic Garden Center, Gorman Heritage Farm and the Nutrition Council to create a support network to assist schools in all phases of creating and sustaining a school garden.
ON-GOING RELATIONSHIP WITH BEECH ACRES PARENTING CENTER
On November 8, 2008, Leave No Child Inside sponsored two workshops with Richard Louv at the Beech Acres For the Love of Kids conference. The conference set a record for attendance, with 1,680 parents participating, 60% of which were new to the conference. We have been asked to sponsor workshops again next year. In addition to educating parents about the importance of unstructured time in nature to healthy childhood development, these workshops will be designed to offer parents the tools and resources they need to get kids outdoors!