KEITH HERRON: It’s Summer and the Learning Continues!

sac-button-KeithOPINION – The sun is shining bright as the beautiful days of summer begin.  Also shining bright is an opportunity for parents to create a summer of learning for their children that is both easy and inexpensive.

Children can learn in a variety of ways during the summer.  The tasks parents accomplish each day in running a household can become a hands-on learning experience for your child.  Shopping for groceries becomes a lesson in math and a critical thinking exercise in comparing and contrasting grocery items.  Planting a garden becomes a lesson in geometry, nutrition, science and ecology.  Cooking provides numerous ways to teach math, history and culture. Incorporate “mini lessons” into your normal routines and create a fun way to learn throughout the summer.

Ideas for mini lessons:

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and percentage calculations at the grocery store.

  • Compare and contrast items in the grocery store, department store or restaurant.

  • Count and classify items in the refrigerator, laundry basket, closet,  canned goods shelf.

  • Identify shapes and colors through your home.

  • Identify letter sounds and letters as you are cooking, cleaning, driving or riding the bus.

  • Spells identified items and tell the meaning.  Use the spelled word in a sentence.

  • Cause and effect, prediction discussions:  “ If _________________ then _______________.

What do you think would happen if ___________________________________?

  • Cooking provides a way to talk about various math and science concepts.

  • Cooking is a way to share the cultural traditions of your family and introduce topics that your child can write a story about, draw picture of or develop a song about .

In addition to the learning that can occur during the time you spend with your children each day, there are numerous activities in Sacramento throughout the summer.  Sacramento offers numerous recreational parks and programs, museums, art centers, music venues, open air markets, festivals and special events throughout the summer.  Each one of these places and events can provide an excellent source of learning experiences for both you and your children to do together.

Sacramento Summer Activities and Events:




Summer Of Service

Sac City – Summer Programs for Middle and High School Students

Summer Quest

Sac City Unified Summer Programs for Elementary Students

Get Your Hustle-On Summer Bridge

Various High Schools in SCUSD, TRUSD, EGUSD.  College Prep Program for Incoming Seniors

(916) 930-0904 or (916) 396-2832

TRUSD Summer Programs

Twin Rivers Unified School District

Grades K-8

Contact Jeremy Combs

(916) 566-1600 x50020

National Summer Transportation Institute

Woodland Community College:  Science program for motivated students (transportation to college is provided)

(916) 930-0904

Screen on the Green

Various Locations

Mayor’s Reading Camp

K-2nd Grade

August 16-27th

Phoenix Park Center

Call the City of Sacramento, Neighborhood Services : (916) 808-6789


The Sacramento Public Libraries have numerous activities, programs and free services.  Sacramento Public Library Locations:

Arcade Library
2443 Marconi Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821

Arden-Dimick Library
891 Watt Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821

Belle Cooledge Library
5600 South Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822

Carmichael Library
5605 Marconi Ave
Carmichael, CA 95608

Central Library
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Colonial Heights Library
4799 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95820

Courtland Library
170 Primasing Avenue, P.O. Box 536
Courtland, CA 95615

Del Paso Heights Library
920 Grand Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95838

E.K. McClatchy Library
2112 22nd Street
Sacramento, CA 95818

Fair Oaks Library
11601 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Franklin Library
10055 Franklin High Rd
Elk Grove, CA 95757

MapMartin Luther King, Jr. Library
7340 24th Street Bypass
Sacramento, CA 95822

McKinley Library
601 Alhambra Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95816

North Natomas Library
2500 New Market Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95835

North Sacramento – Hagginwood Library
2109 Del Paso Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815

Rancho Cordova Library
9845 Folsom Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95827

Rancho Cordova Library
9845 Folsom Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95827

Rio Linda Library
902 Oak Lane
Rio Linda, CA 95673

Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library
Future site
Sacramento, CA 95831

South Natomas Library
2901 Truxel Rd.
Sacramento, CA 95833

Southgate Library
6132 66th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95823

Sylvan Oaks Library
6700 Auburn Blvd
Citrus Heights, CA 95621

Valley Hi-North Laguna Library
6351 Mack Rd.
Sacramento, CA 95823

Children are naturally curious and have the ability to learn in a variety of ways which makes it so important for parents to insure that children are provided experiences that are not only fun but can also enrich the academic learning that has taken place during the school year.  At Target Excellence, we call these types of experiences “disguised learning”.  In other words, the children are enjoying the experiences so much they don’t even realize they are also learning!  The ideas and activities provided in this article are ways to provide disguised learning opportunities and create a POSITIVE and PROACTIVE summer for your children to shine bright in so many different ways.


By Kieth Herron

Kieth Herron is the Executive Director and Founder of Target Excellence in Sacramento, California.  For more information about Target Excellence:

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of, The Sacramento OBSERVER, Sacramento OBSERVER Media Group, it’s owners or management.