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Commissioner Gist visits YMCA camp to promote summer learning

Highlighting many of the summer-learning opportunities available in Rhode Island, Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist today (June 19) joined students at an afterschool camp program – Camp Ok-Wa-Nesett -- at the Kent County Branch of the YMCA of Greater Providence.


“Many of our schools have closed for the summer, but learning doesn’t take a vacation,” Gist said. “Rhode Island offers students and their families excellent opportunities to have fun and to learn – in afterschool hours and during the summer months. When children are involved in fun and productive activities throughout the summer, they’re better able to retain what they’ve learned and to perform well in school in the fall.”

The students at Camp Ok-Wa-Nessett are focused on learning about nature and the environment through exploration of the landscape around the Kent County Y and through hands-on projects. 

“Children’s minds are always open for learning activities,” Commissioner Gist said. “Children can learn from teachers, counselors, mentors, and of course parents as well – through family activities and at many of the high-quality programs that are available across the state.”

The R.I. Department of Education has prepared a list of links to and contacts for programs and organizations in Rhode Island that have summer learning opportunities for children and families at little or no cost. There are still openings in many of the programs.(Click here for the list in Spanish.) 

Among the statewide organizations that focus on afterschool and summer learning are:

“There are so many things that families can do to celebrate learning and to prepare their children for success in school,” said Commissioner Gist. “I hope Rhode Islanders will take advantage of these opportunities and have a wonderful summer of learning and fun!”