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Post date: Monday, November 7, 2016 - 16:49

     United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) is committed to helping students and teachers address summer learning loss and the achievement gap. During the summer months UWSBC offers the Virtual Summer Reading Camp to parents and students which allows participants to sharpen their literacy skills. Partnering with local schools in Santa Barbara County, parents and students are able to utilize UWSBC's Power Reading tools to master their foundational literacy skills so they can develop their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. This summer, UWSBC partnered with 9 schools throughout Santa...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:25

Though many Fun in the Sun students at Franklin elementary have made substantial progress in their English literacy skills since the start of the program, literacy program leader Gayle Leyva commends one student in particular. Walner Fabian has made a tremendous leap.

According to Ms. Leyva, Walner entered the local school community several years ago as an English language learner. At the beginning, she says, “He was pretty much all-Spanish.” Now, as a rising third-grader, Walner speaks English confidently, but his reading and writing skills have continued to lag: at the...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:24

The group almost unanimously wanted to assist the homeless.  We contacted the Transition House, plus watched some videos about their program.  The kids were visibly moved by some of the success stories from parents who had been given a helping hand in their hardship.  Transition House said personal hygiene items would be appreciated.  The group went to each pod with a presentation, asking for help in helping the helpless.  Other pods brought in items, alongside of our group.  Hence, this box filled with goodies, and a personal card signed by each of our 6th graders.  Tomorrow we'll...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:22

Estefania, one of my students in Pod 1 had never been to a pool before in her life. She is 8 years old and just moved to the U.S. from Mexico this past January. She was nervous at first to even go in the water, but she did anyway. She is now putting her head under water and paddling across the pool with her life jacket like a true swimmer. She overcame her fear and is so excited about swimming. She has also passed 2 levels in Lexia Core 5 this summer!!

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:20

Luis Mestas-Rubio was my student in 4th grade and 5th grade at Oak Valley Elementary School in Buellton.  He attended Fun in the Sun last year and now again this year. Luis had been a slow, struggling reader, but is very smart and quick to catch on to new concepts. At the end of 5th grade in Oak Valley Luis made Honor Roll with a 3.5 average!!  He is also reading Harry Potter Books and passing Reading Counts tests on them with 100%!! The Fun in the Sun summer reading program in Fun in the Sun helped bridge the gap for Luis!!

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:15

In pod 4 (Blue group), we journal everyday. I typically have students share their response to the writing prompt out loud.  I had one student who was not confident in her reading skills and never wanted to share because she had to read aloud.  After two weeks at Fun in the Sun and with continued encouragement from myself and fellow campers, she had the courage to share her entry aloud!  I asked her how she felt after reading her entry and she said she felt great about herself because she had make it a goal for the summer to be able to share.  Now, I can count on her to be one of the first...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:14

Samuel Gomez started Fun in the Sun as a young man with difficulties staying seated and not speaking out of turn.  He was also someone who had a hard time staying focused. Those disruptions make learning more challenging for him.  

Samuel has made a conscious effort on staying seated and speaking only when called on.  He has shown tremendous growth in his efforts to succeed.  Not only has Samuel displayed a vast amount of knowledge in all subject areas, bus has also been a great team member in our pod.  His sense of humor, kindness, fairness, and respect towards all FITS scholars...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:13

My Fun in the Sun success story happened during week one in the Physical Education class. I planned a variety of games that focused on team building that included using respectful actions and displaying citizenship.  During these activities, the kids had to work together in order to win the game.  One game I chose to play with the students was called Shipwrecked.  This game is similar to Battleship, in which two teams compete against each other to find out where the other team’s ships (hula hoops) were located on the other side of a wall.  

The next game the students played was Math...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:11

“Apples to Apples is boooooorrinnnnggggg!”

Finding a game everyone wants to play often proves challenging, but on this day I thought I had something we’d all agree on: I’d found an “Apples to Apples” box, a word game in which players match noun and action cards to adjectives before deciding whose card best fits the given adjective. It’s a personal favorite of mine, and I imagined the kids would love the debates it generates. For example, if the given adjective was “slippery,” one might overhear “Starfish are the most slippery!” “No, they’re all rough and covered with bumps! Sponges...

Post date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 10:07

On Thursday, July 7th, Fun in the Sun students from Franklin Elementary returned to the Montecito Family YMCA for another afternoon of fun in the pool. Having passed their swim tests the previous week, students displayed remarkable confidence: with the help of YMCA instructors, those in one corner practiced swimming strokes unaided by flotation devices; in another, cheers went up from the pool wall as two students pushed through the water side-by-side in a friendly test of aquatic speed. From a third corner, Giovanni Villafana of Pod 4 called me over to show off the back float he’d just...