Spotlight on Summer Learning & Child Care Options for 2018

Posted by Kate Spears on

Summer will be here before you know it. Our little ones are counting down the days until school lets out (less than six weeks in many school districts!). When that happens, families will have to fill anywhere from eight to ten hours a day with child care. Summer isn't only a difficult time to plan and arrange child care, it's also the most expensive part of the year.

Did you know that the average family can spend up $7,000 per child during the summer months. That's half of their annual child care budget!

Join WCTE’s Get Ready To Learn host, Cynthia Putman and Putnam County School System Extended Learning Coordinator, Brenda Hughett, as they share about the learning opportunities available during the summer of 2018 for Putnam County students.

Hughett has big plans for LEAPS Camp Summer 2018 and is diligently working to make sure all parent summer  learning experience.

LEAPS Camp will be held at Prescott South Middle School and begins on June 4th. This program has an enrollment fee of $50.00 per week. This camp will be held from 7:30- 5:00 daily.

The students receive breakfast, lunch, and a super snack provided by the Putnam County School System Food Services Department

Check out the following links for summer information:

The Putnam County School Age Care Program (SAC) is a parent-tuition funded group child care program licensed by the Tennessee Department of Education.

Ready2Go is a free 2-week camp for rising 9th and 10th graders in Putnam County Schools, designed to explore college and career options. The camp will meet daily at Cookeville High School from 8am until 2:30pm during the two-week period of June 12-23, with transportation provided for interested UHS and MHS students from their respective schools to and from CHS. Each day of the camp involves a different field trip to area businesses and post-secondary institutions, including TTU, TCAT Livingston, Averitt Express, Nissan Smyrna, and more. Breakfast and lunch are provided daily to the students. Interested students can see their school counselor to register; the deadline is Monday, May 8.

The program for rising kindergarten and first grade students will be held at Prescott South Elementary School and requires an invitation.Summer learning will take place at Parkview for 3rd graders who need extra help in academics. Cane Creek will host a Social Academy for students who attend Putnam County Schools. For additional information about these special programs call P.C.S.S.@ 931-526-9777.

Consider these guidelines when you are selecting a summer learning program:

6 signs of a great summer program — in a nutshell

  • Exploring, adventures, and discovery, oh my!

The first sign of any good program is that it exposes your child to new adventures, skills, and ideas. From visiting the local tech museum to painting a historical mural or hiking in the woods, the idea is to broaden your children’s horizons by giving them a greater sense of what’s possible in our great big world.

  • It’s all about variety.

Children positively bloom when they’re exposed to a wide variety of fun, engaging, brain-boosting activities. Designing Lego towns one day, building rockets that actually blast off the next, regularly nurturing a community garden from seed to sapling — a varying list of activities is the second sign that a program combines academics and activities in inspiring and educational ways.

  • Masters of the universe — literally

Look for programs that build your child’s skills in something they enjoy and care about to the point of mastery. Do you have a future Oprah Winfrey? The next Yo-Yo Ma? A budding Julia Child? The third sign of a great summer program is that it supports your child’s interests and abilities… from atoms to music to zucchini.

  • Learning + teamwork = cooperation

The fourth sign of a great program is that it supports and encourages cooperative learning. Whether it’s a puppet show to be written, built, and performed or a neighborhood cleanup to beautify the block, group activities and team projects help children work together to reach a common goal in a way that sticks with them for a lifetime.

  • Healthy food, healthy play, every day

When comparing camps, choose one that builds in healthy habits every day. Is snack time fueled with fresh fruit and veggies — or sugar-packed treats? Are kids active throughout the day — or only once a week? Super summer programs provide your child with nutritious food, many opportunities for physical recreation, and a variety of outdoor activities.

  • More than just a week!

Give your child enough time to benefit from summer learning experiences by making sure summer learning lasts at least one month. This final sign of a strong summer choice is crucial in preventing summer learning loss. Combine camps a week at a time or find a program that lasts 30 days or more so the fun — and knowledge — can shine like the sun for your child all summer long.

Goals to keep in mind for summer activities:

  • Summer learning programs are important to a child’s year-round learning experience. The reason is simple: Most children, regardless of socioeconomic status, lose up to two months of grade-level equivalency in math if they spend their summers not engaged in any form of learning. Low income children also experience a loss in reading achievement.

  • Summer learning programs are designed to help offset the “summer slide” that occurs when children are not engaged in active learning opportunities.

  • High-quality summer learning programs often take advantage of the treasures of their community (e.g., parks libraries, rivers, and streams) well, allowing for further exciting opportunities.

Before you know it summer will be here. Start planning now so you and your child can have a great summer.


Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM.


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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

Topics are listed below:

  • Using Media as a learning tool
  • Using PBS kids apps to extend learning
  • How to be your child’s first teacher
  • Sesame Street Workshops
  • How does poverty effect a child’s brain
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  • Brain Development

Workshops can be conducted in English and Spanish.