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Area organizations receive state education funds to help students avoid 'summer slide' in learning

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has awarded $200,000 to 11 summer learning program across the state

At the International Peace Garden
The International Music Camp is one of 11 summer camps in the state that has received funds from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction to provide summer learning activities. The camp is conducted at the International Peace Garden near Bottineau. Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism
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GRAND FORKS – Several organizations in northeastern North Dakota have received grants from the state Department of Public Instruction to provide academic programs designed to offset the “summer slide” in student learning.

The DPI has awarded $200,000 in grants to 11 summer learning programs across the state. The programs will provide various activities ranging from reading and mathematics classes to instruction in computer coding, robotics, engineering, music and theater. Some will offer outdoor activities, such as rock-climbing and hiking.

The funding for these grants comes from the DPI’s share of federal education grants that have been targeted for COVID-19 student learning recovery.

“Many of our North Dakota schools already offer summer academic programs that help students avoid the ‘summer slide’ in their learning, or allow them to get extra instruction in certain subjects,” Kirsten Baesler, state school superintendent, said in a news release. “These grants will help expand these programs and make them more widely available.”

The grants were not restricted to school districts, Baesler said. Some nonprofit organizations that provide summer programs to North Dakota students and their families also received financial support.

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The grants were limited to $20,000 per organization.

In this area, the following organizations have received funds:

The International Music Camp, Dunseith, received $20,000 for six, one-week residential fine arts and music camps for students in grades 5-12. The programs, which run from June 19 through Aug. 2, include band, choir, drama, digital photography, creative writing, ballet and modern dance, jazz, fiddle, orchestra, harp, sculpture, painting and cartooning. The camp is held at the International Peace Garden, which straddles the U.S.-Canadian border in north-central North Dakota.

North Dakota Vision Services and School for the Blind, Grand Forks, received a $5,000 grant for a June 4-7 program for visually impaired middle school students at Lake Metigoshe, near Bottineau. The program includes rock-climbing, hiking and visiting Annie’s House in Bottineau, which offers facilities for students who have visual and other impairments.

The Pembina Gorge Foundation, Walhalla, received $20,000 for a week-long day camp, for students in grades 3-12, at Frost Fire Park, seven miles west of Walhalla in northeastern North Dakota. The camp, scheduled for Aug. 1-5, will provide students with three hours each of visual and performing arts instruction. About 65 students are expected to attend.

Turtle Mountain Community School, Belcourt, received $20,000 for the Belcourt Youth Activities Program during June and the first week of July. The program is suited for students who are from 7 to 16 years old. Activities include cultural programming, health promotion, mathematics and science tutoring, career counseling, and sports. Past summer programs have engaged from 120 to 160 students each day, organizers say.

For more information on these programs, check the DPI website, www.nd.gov/dpi , or call (701) 328-2247.

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