Recreation Worcester is a program developed by the Office of the City Manager of Worcester to provide wholesome, interesting activities for children in the City’s parks.
The initiative has also provided a platform on which to offer activities to children to mitigate summer learning loss—a major contributor to achievement gaps between middle income children and their low-income peers.
The Worcester Education Collaborative developed a summer learning curriculum for implementation through Recreation Worcester. The curriculum is divided thematically (eg. map-making; signs, signals and coding) and uses a series of activities to build upon, apply, and reinforce information and skills aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
To prepare children for learning, staff offered group time and then described the activities from which participants could choose. Activities included both individual and group work, thus reinforcing both academic and social skills. Children who participated in a designated number of activities earned a button—similar to a scouting merit badge for their efforts.
Stemming Summer Learning Loss and Having Fun
Children who attend the Worcester Recreation programs at 10 parks in the city this summer are getting a curriculum of activities from WEC, designed to be fun, educational and help stem summer loss.
WEC staff developed the experiential, playful, learning curriculum for Recreation Worcester’s summer program staff. The curriculum is a comprehensive document with activities and instructions for organized thematically by week and fully aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.