Take advantage of SPA summer programs


Mimi Geller

With such diverse summer enrichment programs at SPA, student must cease the opportunity to choose one that aligns with their interests.

Mimi Geller, RubicOnline Editor

The cycle functions like clockwork. Every year when school administrators flip their calendars to March, the promotion of St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s summer camps commence with a cascade of announcements sent to families. Flyers are displayed in both entrances of the school. The updated webpage is up and running. Email blasts are sent to parents about the diverse array of summer enrichment programs.

What is not always displayed, however, is how beneficial SPA’s summer workshops are for high school students. In fact, there are six camps that are offered to high schools. These camps include board game designing, debating, programming and processing, journalism, screenprinting, and wood shop activities. Likewise, the summer programs are taught by SPA teachers, allowing students to feel comfortable with the familiar faces while also having the possibility to meet new peers.

Engaging in a camp-like setting over the summer, especially an academically or artistically focused workshop, enhances a student’s brain and prepares them for the next school year. Throughout summer vacation, students naturally lose knowledge and skills they spent months learning during the school year. On average, students perform one month behind where they left off in the spring once they return to school the following school year. In addition, students who attend academically-focused enrichment camps over the summer benefit from lasting effects that persist for up to two years after the student has attended the camp.

While summer opportunities are often pushed by school administrators, faculty and parents when students are young, the messages dwindle in high school. To combat this, the promotion of the Summer at SPA programs should extend beyond flyers and parent email blasts. Students should receive information in their email inboxes as well. Teachers who lead the programs must broadcast their camp to maximize student interest. Students, who excel in areas such as journalism and debate ought to look internally at the robust programs SPA offers first before exploring outside the community. In doing so, students will foster a tighter community: a school that permits students to explore their interests both during the school year and the summer.

Students, look internally for summer opportunities before searching far, there may be more than at first realized. Teachers, who generously give up their summer vacation to continue to teach, ensure that students are fully aware of the depth and value of the summer programs. Administration, continue to promote the incredibly diverse summer enrichment programs, however, include high school students in the conversation. Students are just as capable to sign up for camps as their parents are. The lasting benefits will extend beyond the student’s high school life which serves as another testament to SPA’s mission, which ultimately prioritizes student growth and fulfillment.

NOTE: Geller developed the Summer @ SPA program, “Life of a Story” last year and facilitates it with an U.S. teacher each summer.