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Operation Shoestring bridges the gap for students who struggled during pandemic

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - While virtual learning made it tough for some students, one West Jackson non-profit organization is making sure that students who struggled during the pandemic will be prepared when classes resume.

Operation Shoestring’s summer camp is focusing on academics to help children successfully reach the next level.

School isn’t over for a class of first graders in Operation Shoestring’s summer camp. Certified JPS teachers are reenforcing their math skills.

In the same room, kindergarten students are doing addition after morning classes of English and Language Arts. In the afternoon they will attend STEM classes.

During the pandemic, students in the after school program were assessed weekly to identify their academic needs.

“It let’s us know where they are and so we can kinda just see where they need those fundamental skills to be rebuilt and so from there we help them out with those,” said After School/Summer Camp Coordinator, Lakesha Parte.

Wednesday morning the fourth and fifth graders were working on literacy.

But it is summer, and there are also fun activities. That means field trips which include swimming, games, arts and crafts and sports.

Coordinators found the past year to be traumatic for some children. Programs are also offered to meet their emotional needs.

“Children, at that point, had to pretty much be independent. So what we had to do was kind of see what their interests were,” added Parte. “Active participation that actually also grew as well so they were able to take ownership into their learning.”

Summer camp got underway June 7. Sixty students from Pre-K to fifth grade are enrolled in the six week camp.

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