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College Launches Initiative to Fight Summer Brain Drain in K-12 Students

Posted on 21 June 2013 | 8:32 am

The College of Charleston is turning the table on summer brain drain. The Center for Partnerships to Improve Education (CPIE) created this initiative to stop the summer learning loss that occurs when students in grades K through 12 do not engage in learning activities through the summer. Custom paper placemats with summer learning suggestions are available for all customers at Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurants. The partnership is being called Turn the Table on Summer Brain Drain

“It is vital that families keep their children’s minds engaged during the summer months,” says Courtney Howard, director of the Center for Partnerships to Improve Education. “While structured summer programs help prevent (or reduce) brain drain, young minds can also be stimulated during ‘family time.’ Our goal is to provide ideas for family activities that can be done by anyone.”

The paper placemats offer suggestions like becoming a naturalist by using a smartphone to make video journals of wildlife in your neighborhood. When doing this, children are encouraged (with parent permission) to download a free night vision app for when the sun goes down and visit the library or internet to identify what is seen. Another idea is to make a template for rearranging a room in the house.  Children can cut out shapes to represent large furniture and other items in the room, arrange the shapes on a piece of paper, and then (with parent permission) use as a template to actually move the furniture. Information about the school subject that each idea addresses is on the website.

The placemats are available at the John’s Island, Goose Creek, and Mt. Pleasant Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant locations through July 14, 2013.

For more ideas to fight brain drain, visit the Fight Summer Brain Drain Facebook page, Twitter page, or website.

Courtney Howard can be reached at

The Center for Partnerships to Improve Education is part of the College’s School of Education, Health, and Human Performance.

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