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Summer Enrichment Experiences

Research shows that students lose academic skills when they don’t participate in summer educational activities.  According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning, teachers spend an average of 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material that students forgot over the summer.  Summer enrichment opportunities can reduce the achievement gap and encourage all students to become lifelong learners. Parents can support student learning over the summer break by involving their children in both formal and informal enrichment experiences.  Below are a few examples:

American Legion Boys State

American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs. High school juniors are selected by local American Legion posts to attend the program. Applications are obtained through local high school counselors or by downloading from the Boys State website. In Maryland, Boys State is conducted annually at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. 

Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

The Johns Hopkins University CTY identifies, assesses, and recognizes students with exceptional mathematical and/or verbal reasoning abilities. Students are identified in grades 2 through 6 or grades 7 through 8.  CTY offers these students challenging educational opportunities that develop the intellect, encourage achievement, and nurture social development through its summer programs.  CTY also contacts students periodically via email with information of interest to gifted students and their families. Students in grades 2 through 6 must take the School and College Ability Test (SCAT), while students in grades 7 or higher must take the SAT as part of the application and selection process.

Maryland Leadership Workshop (MLW)

Maryland Leadership Workshops (MLW) provide leadership training to students across the state of Maryland. Through team building, peer teaching, experience-based learning, and other creative techniques, MLW staff create an exciting, supportive environment where students are encouraged to be themselves and develop their leadership potential.  MLW offers three independent, week-long residential programs each summer, as well as tailored community outreach programs during the course of the year, for both middle and high school students.

Maryland Summer Centers for Gifted and Talented

The Maryland Summer Centers program, in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education and nonpublic agencies, provides gifted and talented students with advanced, rigorous, experiential learning opportunities that nurture these students’ talents and abilities within unique learning environments. Both residential and non-residential programs are offered at various locations throughout the state and include subject areas such as environmental and space science, physics, computer science, engineering, history, and fine and performing arts. 

Regional Math/Science Center

The Regional Math/Science Center at Frostburg State University provides a challenging summer academic program, hands-on field experiences, interactions with mathematicians and scientists, career exploration workshops, study skills workshops, and a variety of other activities. Students participating in the program attend a three- or six-week summer residential program at Frostburg State University and continue to receive support throughout the academic year. Once a student is accepted into the program he/she is encouraged to continue participating in the program until graduation from high school.  To be eligible, students must meet federal income guidelines and/or be a first generation college student interested in pursuing a career in math or science.

Savage Mountain Summer Arts Academy

Savage Mountain Arts Academy offers summer workshops for high school students on the campus of Frostburg State University.  Students participate in intensive study of their field and are mentored by professional artists and college faculty. 

USAMRMC Fort Detrick GEMS Program

Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) is an extracurricular STEM education program, which enables students to experience science in a real laboratory setting. The program is based on a multi-disciplinary educational curriculum, and is focused on age- and grade-appropriate hands-on activities, in areas such as science, engineering, mathematics, computational sciences, computational biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry and biology. The Fort Detrick GEMS program offers opportunities for students in grades 4th-10th at no cost to the student.

USM Summer College Campus Experiences

The University System of Maryland offers a variety of system-wide summer opportunities at colleges across the state.  Programs change each summer, so be sure to check early. 

Women in Engineering (WIE)

Sponsored by the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland College Park, WIE offers a variety of residential and non-residential programs for elementary, middle, and high school students.  Although most programs are held during the summer, some are one-day activities during the school year.

Young Scholars Program

The University of Maryland's Young Scholars Program invites middle and high school students with exceptional ability and promise to live and study on its College Park campus.   Students pursue academic interests, discover career opportunities, attend classes and seminars, and participate in planned social activities and field trips.  Middle and high school programs are separate.  Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors earn three university credits.

Local Opportunities:

Build your child's background knowledge of science, history and culture by visiting free and low-cost local sites such as the Rural Heritage Museum, Antietam Battlefield, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hager House, Round House Museum, Discovery Station, or the C&O Canal.

  • Participate in summer camps offered by scouting, 4-H, and church groups.
  • Investigate the College for Kids programs offered by Hagerstown Community College.
  • Help your child research the geography and history of family vacation spots.
  • Incorporate a visit to a nearby college campus while on vacation.
  • Encourage your child to participate in a book club or start his own.
  • Make regular visits to your local branch of the Washington County Free Library.
  • Take a day trip to one of the eight 4-year colleges located less than 50 miles from Hagerstown.
  • Enroll your child in one of the WCPS summer enrichment camps and/or summer school.

Visit the College and Career Readiness website to learn more about Summer Enrichment opportunities.