Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Don’t Fall Behind

Posted 05/23/2016 by Mia Grijalva

Students should prepare themselves for the upcoming year during summer vacation. photo by Mia Grijalva

Students need to stay academically minded over the summer and keep up on school work. 

With the school year coming to an end and summer approaching quickly, doing academic work over the vacation is oftenthe last thing on the mind of a student. Although students would rather be spending their summer vacation relaxing and having fun, summer is an ideal time to strengthen learning skills.

Usually, when students are asked to do school work over the summer, their first thought is that they are on a break and should enjoy their vacation. However, making time is the first and most important step is staying diligent over the summer. Taking a few minutes out of the day to read a few pages of a book or do a few math problems is all it takes to prepare yourself for the next school year.

With this in mind, one way to stay prepared is by reading. Reading is a great opportunity to strengthen your skills in a fun way. When reading over the summer, there are more possibilities to take the time to read a book you enjoy rather than an assigned book that is unappealing to you. To stay on top of your reading, making a daily reading time can stop you from overlooking it. “Don’t become a potato head! Read, read, read! It’ll help you a lot more than you may think,” English teacher Jacquelyn Hudson-Raila suggests. Besides reading, keeping up on mathematics can also strengthen your academic skills. Taking the time to do a few math problems here and there is a great way to keep school a priority; if you can apply that math to whatever summer activities you may be doing, you can make it fun. There’s also the option of practicing online with websites like and which are great tools to use that are easy access and have a wide variety of problems.

Other things to consider practicing over the summer are grammar and writing. Reviewing grammar can always help to advance your reading and writing skills. Practicing grammar consists of practicing suffixes, spelling, prepositions, nouns, etc. Along with grammar, vocabulary and spelling can also be practiced to help broaden your vocabulary; this can later help with the ACT and college applications. They may be basic skills, but taking a few minutes to read out of a dictionary or an online source can dramatically help your writing skills.

Along with practicing basic skills, students can go the extra mile and do an internship or take a job opportunity that can further help with their studies. In Denver, there are many opportunities for internships, including the Bringing Back the Arts internship program that is partnered with GoodWill and works with TJ. There are also a lot of internship opportunities offered through big companies in the metro area as well as colleges like University of Denver and Metropolitan State University. Other opportunities can be found at the Denver Post, Denver Police Department, Denver Parks and Recreation, and more. Regardless of whether the internship is paid or unpaid, all internships give students tons of experience and great connections that can lead to great opportunities. With that experience, it can easily be applied to a potential job or studies you would like to pursue. “I plan on doing an internship this summer with the Denver Animal Shelter and I can’t wait. I really hope with this internship I can gain a lot of experience to help me later on in life in college or even potentially in a veterinary opportunity. I highly recommend finding an internship, especially a paid one that can be a job and an educational experience!” said junior Gabrielle Alonzo. Taking on an internship opportunity can not only lead to a job but is also an experience to learn from with potentially great outcomes.

Though many might be inclined to relax and forget about school, staying academic should continue onto the vacation. Summer vacation may not seem like the time to continue with your schooling, but in reality it’s a very ideal time. Making time to practice some basic skills, read a few pages, do a few math problems, or practice your grammar can help academically a lot more than you may think.