ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As parents prepare for the upcoming school year, learning loss continues to be a real concern.
Following a rollercoaster year of hybrid and virtual learning, many parents are looking for other ways to keep their kids engaged this summer.
The nonprofit, Rosie Riveters, is now offering free courses to keep kids learning and help with the transition back to the classroom.
"We wanted to really provide something that was transitional as we look at this virtual roll back into the real world and helping kids navigate both anxieties and just the transition of that," said Brittany Greer with Rosie Riveters.
With that transition, comes a greater focus on hands-on learning and problem solving with other classmates.
"We want to allow them to get those critical thinking hats on as they get ready for the school year and keep them fully immersed in STEM activities and learning all around," said Greer.
The nonprofit Rosie Riveters launched a summer reading program and free multilevel treasure hunt.
"There’s a map that you can get to through a website and there are six different locations in Old Town and Northwest Arlington. Essentially you find yourself on the map, follow yourself to the coordinates specified and then follow the clues to try and find where they are hidden in each location," said Greer.
In each location, there are instructions for a special STEM project you can do at home to help gear up for the next school year.
"We’ve got to get kids back outside, using their bodies and their brains in a creative way. Both of these really allow for critical thinking and less of this process of completing one task after another," said Greer.
"My family, like so many families, are trying to figure it out. My daughter is seven so she is not vaccinated but the adults are so we are focusing on what that looks like in terms of new boundaries," said Greer.
As they prepare for this fall, Greer said they cannot wait for the opportunity to return to in-person classes once again.
"The fall is a mixed bag. Some of it we will lean on the success of virtual learning options and the STEM kits that we delivered in the spring thankfully were a great success and we can continue to use that as we move forward, and increase accessibility in the long term which is fantastic. In some instances, we will be back in person with our kids, class sizes are kept at 14 kids so they are on the smaller side. Our instructors are all vaccinated and so we are navigating that but we take it one day at a time," said Greer.
More than 1,200 people viewed the geocaching family treasure hunt map for the Rosie Riveter Women's History Hunt this past spring.
Both summer activities run from July 5 to Aug. 15.
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