Salisbury University hopes to prevent ‘summer slide’ for grades K-12

By Richard Caines
Posted 6/10/24

SALISBURY — Salisbury University officials hope an annual summer program for students in grades K-12 assists with preventing the “summer slide” along the …

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Salisbury University hopes to prevent ‘summer slide’ for grades K-12


SALISBURY — Salisbury University officials hope an annual summer program for students in grades K-12 assists with preventing the “summer slide” along the Eastern Shore.

It is the fourth summer for the Summer Enrichment Academies since its creation, consisting of 33 different week-long academies that include full and half-day options.

Salisbury University officials said the goal of the program — running from June 24 through August 9 — is to keep the minds of grade school students active after school lets out for the summer.

“The summer slide as we know is very prevalent,” said Wynnette Curtis, program coordinator of diversity initiatives at the Seidel School of Education. “Even though the program is fun, it is enriching. The kids are learning things and are still using their critical thinking skills.”

“Summer slide” is a tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous academic year.

“Here we don’t have any gaps during the day,” Curtis said. “There’s no downtime where the kids can get bored. There is always something going on.”

The Summer Enrichment Academies consist of various classes in music, art, STEM, writing, literacy, foreign languages, philosophy, filmmaking, business, 3D printing, scavenger hunts, health careers and college readiness. The courses are taught by university faculty and staff as well as teachers from the Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester school districts.

Curtis said the cost of attending a week-long academy is normally $400 for a full day and a half day is $200 per week. But thanks to a grant from the Donnie Williams Foundation, full-day academies currently reflect a $100 discount and half-day academies reflect a $50 discount.

Students who receive free or reduced lunch at grade school receive a $25 discount for the half-day academies and $50 discount for the full-day academies on the registration fee.

The registration cost for each academy includes an “all you care to eat” lunch experience, instructional materials, snacks, and field trips for some of the academies.

“With the price of babysitting and daycare, I think we are the better (option). Your kids are safe,” Curtis said. “Your kids are learning, and they enjoy it.”

Curtis said the program continues to grow from the first year when they saw roughly 400 students come through the program. They hope to double that number this summer.

One new option this summer for students is the Scavenger Hunt Academy slated for July 22-26.

“I am so excited about that one,” Curtis said. “This year we have two Wicomico County teachers that will be teaching that. So, each day, the kids will get clues and the campus is where they will search.

“They will be using critical thinking and decision-making skills. They also have to use team-building skills because they have to work together with their group.”

Students who love the water can sign up for Environmental Literacy Through Canoeing on the Eastern Shore, where they will have the opportunity to get out on a canoe daily from July 8-12.

Curtis said the program allows students to experience what it is like attending classes on a college campus. However, students in the academy don’t take tests or receive grades.

“If we get kids early, especially those kids that aren’t even thinking about college, they get to experience campus life,” Curtis said. “They talk to our students and it kind of opens up that desire in them and hopefully they will come to SU.”

Curtis said at the beginning of the summer, they see students eager to learn but they also notice those who slowly walk into the building.

“We just put that positive energy out and then that Friday when the academy is over, they’re crying,” Curtis said. "We have middle and high school kids crying because it’s over.”

For more information or to register visit

Reach Managing Editor Richard Caines at

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