For Immediate Release: June 22, 2021
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Summer SOLE (Student Opportunities for Learning and Engaging) programs kicked off this month with hands-on, interactive learning experiences taking place statewide for K-12 students. The programs are made possible through grants from the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE).
With each round of federal pandemic relief dollars, the WVDE passed its allocation through to counties to benefit social-emotional, developmental and academic supports for students. The WVDE provided approximately $34 million to counties through its second round of Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Funds for summer enrichment programs.
SOLE is designed to offer engaging summer programming to address students’ social-emotional needs and support their recovery from lost learning opportunities experienced during the school year. These programs offer in-person, research-based opportunities with free transportation and meals for all K-12 students.
Research on effective summer learning suggests that a combination of academic interventions and engaging enrichment are the most effective practices for learning loss recovery. As a result, Summer SOLE programs are providing direct instruction in reading and math skills as well as opportunities to participate in collaborative projects, field trips and outdoor learning experiences that build knowledge and skills in all areas of learning.
“We have 280 weeks of Summer SOLE programming being offered at 476 sites across the state, which represents 221 elementary, 140 middle school and 115 high school sites,” State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch said. “In addition, 36 members of a cross-office collaborative team at the WVDE will embark on technical assistance site visits to more than 253 of those locations. We are thrilled with the energy and engagement we’re already seeing among students and staff all over the state.”
From students leading STEM and maker experiences for their peers, to authentic scientific investigations of West Virginia’s natural wonders with real-world experts, counties have planned outstanding programs for students this summer.
“After a difficult year for everyone, one of the things we are looking forward to the most is giving the public the opportunity to hear from students about their experiences and accomplishments and to see the glow on their faces from being back together with teachers and friends while having their minds and bodies engaged in this important and rewarding work,” Superintendent Burch said.
For media inquiries, contact Christy Day at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.