HALLANDALE — The clock on the wall ticks, ticks, ticks. Students in Marcia Notkin’s Business class are impatiently waiting for the 2:30 bell to ring. They can’t wait to burst through the classroom door to make their way home — only to be greeted once again by the hallowed halls of Hallandale High School the next morning.
The summer months are rapidly approaching and teachers believe parents should allow their adolescent youth to become involved in creative but mentally stimulating summer challenges — for example finding a job, playing sports, traveling and studying for SATs and ACTs.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer.
“I advise all my students to read books over the summer, or to take an online class,” says Notkin, a National Board Certified teacher. “The world is competitive and in order to keep up with peers and other countries in education levels, it is imperative that students remain academically challenged.”
Briani Henderson, a rising high school junior and class president at Hallandale, and also one of Notkin’s students, said she plans on finding a job this summer to save for college.
“This school year had its ups and downs,” she said. “I’m glad it’s almost over and I’m looking forward to my summer endeavors.”
Research has also concluded that children gain weight during the summer. When a parent chooses to not keep a juveline physically active, this causes an increase in body mass index.
There is an abundance of summer programs and activites in South Florida in which a parent can enroll their child. Colleges and universities are seeking students who are well-rounded both inside and outside the classroom.
“Education is a valuable aspect to obtain in life,” Notkin said, “and it’s not to be wasted by sitting on the couch.”