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National Heritage Academies Partner-schools Put New Spin on Summer Learning

NHA Communications Team  |  July 28, 2023
Keeping kids engaged in learning during the summer months has obvious benefits, and National Heritage Academies (NHA) partner-schools have put a new spin on “summer school.”
It’s not the summer school your mom and dad remember. In fact, it’s based around online technology that is woven into NHA’s curriculum throughout the school year.
This includes digital tools such as Dreambox for math and Lexia for English Language Arts (ELA), plus access to Sora, a reading app that serves as an online library for students. To date, NHA students have checked out nearly 90,000 books from the Sora app.
Students today are growing up in a different world where certain elements of their education need to be digitized and accessible on different platforms. Sora is helping NHA schools to stay relevant with the technology world as it progresses.
Students are taking advantage of the Sora reading app again this summer after recording the largest number of checkouts worldwide last year from Sora’s Sweet Reads summer list.
"The kids just want the books,” said Alexandra Brown, NHA's educational technology specialist and lead librarian. “Now they’re available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Beyond self-paced at-home summer learning, many NHA partner-schools also provide targeted four- to six-week programs for students who may need additional support getting ready for the upcoming school year. This includes teacher check-ins to encourage and engage students in achieving specific learning goals.
In addition to continuing growth throughout the summer, ensuring students are prepared to enter their next grade level is critical, said Shawn Leonard, NHA Executive Director of School Quality.
“Reading and Math are fundamental skills which build the foundation for all student learning, now and in the future. The most important practices to support student learning during the school year are important during the summer as well,” Leonard said. “The strategies a student gains during the school year are practices they can use year-round, whether at school or at home.”
NHA Curriculum Specialist Megan Dziedzic noted a key element to summer learning is to find a schedule that works for both children and parents. To make sure your student is understanding what they are reading, parents should ask questions related to the content. Ask about the characters, problem, solution, setting, and encourage details.
“If your student is having trouble answering these questions, read the book together and find a more ‘just right’ book for independent reading,” Dziedzic said.
“Families need to make summer learning work for them. It should not be overwhelming. Set a schedule, make it a part of the routine. Maybe it’s right after breakfast. Read for 20 minutes, so it’s anticipated and consistent. Be sure to set attainable goals so that everyone feels successful. Most importantly, make it fun.”
Want to learn more about summer learning programs and other important values taught at National Heritage Academies partner-schools? Visit

About National Heritage Academies:
National Heritage Academies (NHA) is a network of 100 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit

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