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6 Creative Themes for Your K-12 Summer Enrichment Program

Summer Enrichment Programs for K-12 Students

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Enrichment programs positively impact student academic development while supporting their social, emotional, and mental health needs. While the programs support academic instruction, schools can think outside the box to create programs that students are excited to attend.  

How Can Schools Encourage Students to Attend Summer Enrichment Programs?

It’s difficult to engage students over summer since students tend to think negatively about summer school. Districts can overcome this challenge and negative perception by providing fun, engaging summer learning opportunities. Here are six ideas to get you started: 

  1. Healthy Eating: Teach students how food can support their development, success in school, and long-term health. Recruit a local chef or nutritionist to lead/support instruction. End the week with a fun cooking class that teaches students how to make healthy snacks and meals. 
  2. Explore the Wild: Teach students all about the animals around them. Have a scavenger hunt to look for insects on your school campus or nearby park. End the week with an event, like having a zookeeper bring animals to your school or a field trip to the zoo or science museum. 
  3. Space Adventures: Teach students about astronomy and space. Build rockets and space habitats. Learn how the body changes in outer space and what astronauts do on missions. Invite an astronaut to speak to your class (virtually or in-person) or visit a space museum. 
  4. Let’s Write: Teach students about the fundamentals of writing while encouraging creativity. Have them write a poem or book based on an assigned topic or one of their choice. Invite an author to speak to the class or go on a field trip to your local library. Play vocabulary games or have a spelling bee. 
  5. Explore Careers: Teach students about various career opportunities, from healthcare, law enforcement, engineering, construction, and entrepreneurship. Invite volunteers from each field to your class to share their stories and speak with students about creating a successful career. 
  6. Be Creative with Art: Teach students about the arts. Create sculptures from clay, go outside and ask students to draw what they see, paint pottery, or cut shapes from magazines to create a collage. Ask a local artist to teach a painting class or go on a field trip to your local art museum. 


How Can Volunteers Help with Summer Learning and Enrichment Programs?

Schools across the nation are facing significant staffing shortages and staff are already stretched thin. Fortunately, volunteers are ready and eager to help. School volunteers can help schedule field trips, recruit guest speakers, brainstorm creative project ideas, chaperone, and even instruct classes. 

Read our white paper, How to Make Summer Learning Fun and Effective with Help From Volunteers, to learn more!