Summer Learning Event @DemmeLearning

Last Friday, Demme Learning hosted students from La Plaza, an after-school program based in Lancaster city that uses our Math-U-See and Spelling You See programs. We gave them a tour of the office and warehouse and had stations setup where employees would share how they used math and spelling in their day to day jobs. Here are a few pictures from the visit:

Justin, our design manager (in orange) and I  handing out pencils
Justin handing out pencils and explaining how he uses math in designing websites
Carolyn, our marketing manager, entertains with Simon Says
Carolyn entertains with Simon Says and talks about the math used in marketing
Sindy, from customer service, hands a pencil to one of the students
Sindy talking about the importance of addition and calculating percentages in customer service
Steve, the guy from the videos who tells those punny [funny] jokes
Steve giving a tour and telling punny jokes
One of the learning highlights from the event was when I took the group to my office. Immediately, they headed over to the globe. Soon they were asking me, “Where’s Pennsylvania?” “Where’s Peru?” “Where’s the library?” and “Hey, what about Mexico?”

Looking at the globe
Looking at the globe

We finished off the tour with some cake and snacks to help everyone remember to be lifelong learners.

The cake
The cake


Group photo!
Group photo

We had a great time hosting the students and are happy to support such a great after-school program.

Summer Learning and Local Parks

Caledonia State Park

One of my favorite places to visit during my staycation is Caledonia State Park located between Chambersburg and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. The furnace was owned by Thaddeus Stevens. Right before the battle at Gettysburg, a Confederate raid burned down the furnace. Stevens suffered devastating financial loss but continued to pay his employees and eventually rebuilt the ironworks. You can read more about that story here.

It can be fun and educational for you as a family is to discover when, why, and how your state was formed. You can also explore how your city or town was created and who were the first people to live where you do. Teaching your children the history surrounding the location where you live is helpful not only in providing them with geographic roots but also in inspiring them to care for and cultivate their community by being active and involved locally.

Sometimes a two-hour trip to a national state park can be just as meaningful and fun as an exotic trip abroad. As you prepare for your summer, consider planning a staycation! You never know what exciting adventures lie just around the corner.

And if you’re looking for some summer fun that’s also educational, check out our new KinderTown summer camp:



May the Fourth Be With You – Star Wars and Lifelong Learning

Me and my brothers. #StarWarsDay
My brothers and I #StarWarsDay

Growing up my brothers and I would get out our Star Was action figures and reenact the Star Wars movies.

  • We did this every Saturday.
  • We were teenagers.
  • We were are a little nerdy.
  • We were homeschooled.

Not only was our Star Wars reenactments lots of fun, research suggests that this kind of imaginative play is actually very beneficial. An article in Psychology Today entitled The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development, speaks to the benefits of pretend play for children.

“Actual studies have demonstrated cognitive benefits such as increases in language usage including subjunctives, future tenses, and adjectives. The important concept of “theory of mind,” an awareness that one’s thoughts may differ from those of other persons and that there are a variety of perspectives of which each of us is capable, is closely related to imaginative play (Jenkins & Astington, 2000; Leslie, 1987; Singer & Singer, 1990; Singer & Singer, 2005).”

Basically, when my brothers and I had to use our communication skills to resolve disagreements about who got to be Han Solo or how the next scene should play out, we were growing and developing our social skills. The article says it this way:

“. . .Make-believe games are forerunners of the important capacity for forms of self-regulation including reduced aggression, delay of gratification, civility, and empathy.”

Play is the work that a child is tasked with performing. And through imaginative “pretend” play, children learn key social skills that will help them succeed all throughout their life.

One of our core concepts at Demme Learning is the power of multi sensory engagement. We think it’s best for children to have tangible objects that they can interact with in their learning. This is why we emphasize the blocks in teaching and learning mathematical concepts.

Looking back on those Star War reenactments, I am convinced that those action figures enriched our play, providing tangible objects that enhanced our learning. Whether it’s dolls or action figures or a pretend vacuum cleaner, toys are an essential element of pretend play. But then again, as any nerd knows, the difference between a stick and a lightsaber is the sound effects.

Happy Star Wars day and may the Fourth Be With You!

3 Tweet Highlights From NCFL-Summit

National Center for Families Learning
National Center for Families Learning