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Summer education programs fight to keep kids engaged for the upcoming year's success

Education nonprofits and school districts like CMS have already started summer programs.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Summer break is a critical time to catch students up before the new school year starts. 

Education nonprofits and school districts like Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have already started summer programs.

"We've got summer programs for our newcomer students who don't know English yet," CMS Board Chair Elyse Dashew said. 

Dashew said CMS has students from 180 countries who speak 204 languages. CMS also has programs geared at third graders, upcoming ninth graders, and other students who need intervention during this time. 

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"We're really trying to make the summer courses, enriching, and fun, and not just sitting there in a, you know, desk, constantly memorizing and taking tests," Dashew said. 

Reports this year showed many third graders were not on track by CMS standards to be college and career ready. These summer classes are vital to correcting this. 

"If the kids show up week one, and then taper off week two, three, four -- it's not going to help much," Dashew said. "So we really need them to keep coming to keep showing up." 

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Meanwhile, education nonprofits like MeckEd continue to engage its students during the summer.

During a recent graduation party, you could get a headshot, open a bank account or get help enrolling in community college. 

Rising seniors like Aaron Amavi said events like the party energized him for the upcoming school year, which was a struggle. 

"Maintaining and staying on top of my work," Amavi said, "Because most of the time teachers just hand out work and I'd have to stay on top of it and make sure it's all good." 

Amavi credited SAT and ACT prep, mentorship, and help from MeckEd helping him succeed the year. 

The common takeaway from education leaders is career and college readiness for students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area starts and ends with being present.

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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