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District students, families get chance to ‘Grow Together’ over summer

Families participating in a Growing Together Day Camp cooking activity  At Folsom Cordova’s annual Growing Together Day Camp, summer school wasn’t just for kids: Families also had the opportunity to learn and participate in engaging activities alongside their children.
Growing Together was among the rich summer offerings, including Parent Academy , that offered educational opportunities and resources for dozens of families during the summer break. 
Among the lessons learned this summer: Hearty and healthy breakfasts – key ingredients to boost learning – don’t have to be expensive or complicated. 
On July 3, two Kaiser Permanente volunteers hosted a hands-on healthy cooking lesson for Parent Academy participants. Parents eagerly cracked eggs, chopped vegetables, mixed in tofu and heated tortillas as Dr. Catherine Vigran and Nurse Practitioner Carrie Beale guided them through a simple recipe.  
Even better: “I can’t even taste the tofu,” one parent said. 
Folsom Cordova operated Growing Together with support from a variety of community partners including Kaiser Permanente, the Corporation for National and Community Service and an anonymous donor. The free, two day-camps were hosted at Cordova Meadows and Williamson elementary schools.  
Each school has many families living in poverty and is implementing programs and services to help struggling students succeed. Summer learning loss is one key factor linked to the academic achievement gap among disadvantaged students, said Linda Burkholder, FCUSD’s director of family support services. 
For six weeks, Growing Together offered breakfast and lunch for students and neighborhood children so that they could continue to receive nutritious meals when school was out. Academic enrichment focused on hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities, recreation, field trips, and Parent Academy lessons.
Garrett Garcia, Public Relations Intern
(916) 294-9000