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Long Island Educators Combining Lessons Of Heart, Mind And Body This Summer To Reclaim What Was Lost Due To Pandemic

ROOSEVELT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Boosted by $1 billion in federal stimulus money, school districts are working this summer to reclaim lost learning in inventive ways.

On Long Island, educators are combining lessons of the heart, mind, and body, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Monday.

Goodbye summer school of old -- 6- and 7-year-olds are now meditating!

It was the first day of Summer Academy at Washington Rose Elementary in Roosevelt.

"It feels amazing because I have the best teachers," 7-year-old Anissa Branch said.

The stigma gone, in-person learning is a coveted treat after a year of struggling remotely.

"It's pretty cool. It's more different than what you would do in a regular classroom. It's more fun," 12-year-old Manuel Flores said.

In all, 97% of parents in Roosevelt reported setbacks.

"We are taking advantage of a crisis," said Dr. Deborah Wortham, superintendent of Roosevelt Schools.

Roosevelt now offers an abundance of new and exciting summer programs aimed at enticing students.

"We want our staff and students to be healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged," Wortham said.

More than half of public school teachers say the pandemic resulted in a significant learning loss for students, both academically and in their social-emotional progress.

Roosevelt is partnering with the nonprofit Mentoring in Medicine.

"The mission is to actually inspire and train the next generation of biomedical scientists," co-founder Andrew Morrison said.

Curious kids are urged to pose daily questions.

"To really get them to go further in their knowledge of health and fitness and medicine," Washington Rose Elementary teacher Nancy Ticali said.

From heart study in the classroom to endurance on the hardwood, and coordination in the hallway.

"Giving back to the community and also helping other students get engaged," mentoring volunteer Shelane Baptiste said.

They are dancing their way out of shutdowns and quarantines to reclaim lost learning.

In August, many of the Roosevelt students will graduate to lab coats and science equipment.

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