I am, We are — 2022
This summer, the program’s theme was I am, We are anchored in the importance of recognizing and honoring students’ identities. As a quintessential component of Culturally Responsive-Sustaining (CR-S) Education, students’ identities are critical starting points of each child’s development. In particular, the CR-S framework increases student achievement and resilience by honoring multiple expressions of diversity-enabling teachers to prioritize diversity as an asset for teaching. Overall, CR-S supports our design and implementation of student-centered learning environments that affirm all identities, develop critical thinking skills, and cultivate success and growth through meaningful and empowering learning experiences. Each Lead Teacher and Teaching Assistant developed Project-Based Learning activities to reflect I am, We are.
- Blue Hedgehogs: The kindergarten class, going into first grade, presented themselves as the Blue Hedgehogs at the first community gathering. On their presentation date, they talked about their chosen class name in connection to Sonic the Hedgehog, a superhero in their eyes. They, too, believe that they all have superhero qualities. One project-based learning activity was the creation of a superhero self-portrait.
- Yellow Suns and Bananas: The multi-age class, kindergarten and first graders, introduced their class name as Yellow Suns and Bananas. They used each learning experience to add new aspects to their I am, We are identity banner. A few examples include: A reader, a builder, an artist, an explorer, and a friend.
- Team Ocean: The multi-age class, first and second graders, called themselves Team Ocean to represent their class focus on literacy, especially reading the titles: Little Cloud, House for Hermit Crab, and Mister Sea Horse by Eric Carle. This ocean-theme focus was also accompanied by project-based learning activities in connection with CR-S practices.
- Green Team: The multi-age class, second and third graders, chose the class name of Green Team. This name was used as an umbrella term. By the end of the summer, the Green Team embraced that they are imperfect people. Despite being imperfect, students used project-based learning activity to create their imperfect portraits that highlight their strong character traits such as compassionate, intelligent, optimistic, and others alike.
- The Lit Kids: The third grade class, going into fourth grade, designated “The Lit Kids” as their class name. This fun name used word play of “lit” in connection to culturally-relevant experiences and literature. The duality in this name highlighted their students’ identities as being “lit” and their reading book club that would take place twice a week. Students and volunteers read the book The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Students used this book as a focal point for developing reading skills, learning about character, and developing a sense of community.
Service — 2021
In summer 2021, Brockport Summer Learning was able to return to an in-person learning model. This year, the program theme was service. Brockport Summer Learning aimed to enhance children’s learning by addressing real-life issues and concerns in their immediate community. At program-wide Community Gatherings, each class demonstrated to their peers what they have learned about service and how to give back in some way- no matter how small. These learning experiences and service efforts culminated in diverse ways:
K go 1: The Trail Blazers
- Making recycling boxes
- Expressing gratitude through hand-written letters
1 go 2: The Friendly Friends
- Handmade bookmarks
- Handmade potholders
- Expressing gratitude to local volunteers
2 go 3: The Freddy D’s
- Learning about Frederick Douglass’ service efforts
- Co-creating an art mural to teach others about service
- Expressing gratitude to partnerships
3 go 4: The Super Servers
Game Changers — 2019
For the 2019 program, Brockport Summer Learning decided to take a different approach to our theme — board games. Research shows that playing games is a valuable method for children to learn. Children learn how to obey rules, many games factor in math and reading comprehension, how to be a good winner/loser, but most importantly — they learn how to play.
Our students spent the program developing their own board games in which they presented to the entire program on the final day. Students were encouraged to integrate their favorite part of learning into the project. They modeled their games after beloved board games and students used themes and ideas from their favorite books, including Harry Potter and Wonder.
- Our kindergarteners created “Kinderopoly” a life size game modeled after Monopoly.
- The combined kindergarten and first grade class made a Candy Land scavenger hunt.
- Our second graders used twister and the zones of regulation for their game.
- Third grade created scrabble boards based off their summer book, Wonder.
- Fourth grade fell in love with the I Survived series and created a thrilling and adventurous scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunts were based off different natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
- Fifth grade took their love of Harry Potter to the next level by creating a scavenger hunt and costumes to match the characters in the books.
- Sixth grade followed suit by building a scavenger hunt for first grade students.
View our 2019 games slideshow to get a closer look at our students’ games.
Superheroes — 2018
In 2018, Brockport Summer Learning decided to integrate an overarching theme that spans the entirety of the program. Throughout the program, grade levels work con a project that uses the theme as a core component
At the end of the program, all of the grades come together on the final day to celebrate their success and share their projects with family and community members.
The overarching theme for the summer of 2018 was “Superhero-Super You!” Students explored what a superhero is, compared the different qualities of a superhero and a supervillain, and then created their own superhero based on what they had learned about what constitutes a superhero.
Along with exploring different superheroes, each grade adopted a superhero name:
- Kindergarten – Justice League
- First grade – The Incredibles
- Second grade – The Defenders
- Third grade – The Avengers
- Fourth grade – The Fantastic 4
- Fifth grade – The Black Panthers
Each grade was tasked with creating their own original superhero - they had to include an origin story, the superpower that the superhero possesses, the physical qualities of their superhero, and a short story about their superhero in action. Once they had created their superhero, each grade chose a different art media to portray their original superheroes.