Updated: Apr 6, 2021
When Hamilton County teachers Brittany Harris and Colleen Ryan noticed a decrease in student reading scores and a lack of transportation support for families, they wanted to help. Nearly three years ago, during their participation in PEF’s Teacherpreneur, their idea for The Passage was born. Through funding support from Teacherpreneur, they purchased a bus, which they turned into a mobile classroom for their community. The Passage's mobile classroom provides students + families a positive learning alternative to meet their needs, both with education and with transportation.
During Remake Learning Days this week, Harris and Ryan stationed their mobile classroom outside of Rivermont Elementary for their first summer S.W.A.G. event (Students Working on Achieving Gains). The motivation behind this event was to stop the summer slide. Ryan explained the summer slide occurs when students don't go to school in the summer, and they digress in their reading or math scores. “We have created lesson plans inside of a bag, which includes six to seven books and contains all the materials that both the parents and students need to be able to stop their summer slide,” shared Ryan. In addition to the tangible education materials provided in these bags, the lesson plans also include scannable QR codes, where a video of either Harris or Ryan appears explaining the lesson plan. “The purpose of this event is to give families resources they can use in the summer,” said Harris. "These are direct, instructional materials with rich texts and lessons associated with them. Within the summer, they don’t just read a book, but they’re also able to have resources with them in order to maintain or increase their reading level." *Fun fact – Normal Park’s VW eLab students designed the bag’s graphics! And a huge thank you to Shelter Church for donating the bags themselves.