George Starks

George Starks

George Starks founded Summer Fit Learning in 2010 after leading the national bestselling Summer Bridge Activities workbook series for Rainbow Bridge Publishing for 10 years. After the company was sold to North Carolina-based publisher Carson-Dellosa, Starks continued to build and lead a new summer learning division for Carson-Dellosa for four years.

Starks believes that riding a bike and reading a book with a child this summer can make or break their school year. The espresso-making, bike-riding, educational publisher is the creator of the new Summer Fit™ workbook series. He would like nothing better than to inspire parents to put down their smartphones and computers long enough to ride bikes, play at the park and read with their children this summer – some traditions should not be left behind.

Even as a young child, Starks was aware that mental and physical activity are interwinded. The two orientations – which Starks feels represents a balanced approach to learning – are missing in many homes today. Fortunately, they are being adopted by parents and teachers around the country who are taking notice of what researchers are saying about this "whole-body" approach.

Summer Fit Learning, P-K through 4-5

Summer Fit Learning

Summer Fit Learning’s series of educational bridge workbooks aims to prepare children mentally, physically and socially. Fitness is key to the process.

Research shows that students score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than at the end of the school year, and are more likely to gain weight while on break. Many exercise experts believe children today are too sedentary, which is contributing to the excess weight in one-third of children in the United States. This has created a groundswell of interest in implementing a whole body approach to education in general while specifically getting kids more active during the summer.

The SUMMER FIT workbook series aims to create fun learning experiences to help children retain and carry over knowledge from the previous school year. Additionally, by presenting a “whole body” approach with lessons and activities that focus on the body and the brain, Summer Fit helps parents and children capitalize on the mental and social benefits of physical exercise. “Summer should be a time for children to step away from their computers and televisions and exercise their brains and bodies naturally,” says series creator George Starks. “Kids should reconnect with themselves, their families and their friends on a personal level. They should be outside playing, but also brushing up on academic skills from the previous year, or those that they may find more challenging than others. They should also read and apply other classroom skills in enjoyable and entertaining ways.”

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

Topic: Summer Learning Loss
* How long has the subject of “Summer Learning Loss” been a topic of concern that researchers have documented?
* What students are impacted the most by “Summer Learning Loss” and what are some of the different ways that parents and teachers combat the impact?
* Is “Summer Learning Loss” growing and why or why not?

Topic: Summer Fitness
*Why are children actually gaining weight during the summer and while away from school?
* Child obesity and the poor health of today’s youth frequent the headlines. Why has it become such an issue and what needs to change in order to deal with poor health across the board?
* Is poor health more about calories or lifestyle?

Topic: Social Skills and Character Development
* What is one of the biggest concerns of educators today?
* What are primary factors that influence children’s behavior today?
* Has technology helped or hurt child behavior?
* Ultimately who do you feel is responsible for the behavior of a child?

Topic: Whole Body Approach to Learning
* Explain what you mean by having a “Whole Body” approach to learning and how is this similar to the “Whole Child” movement that is taken shape in classrooms today.
* What is the “Body-Brain” connection and how does it impact school performance tests?
* Why do you feel traditional learning methods in primary grades is so important?
* What are the roles of books in the classroom and in the home and how does the way children digest their information impact their ability to retain knowledge?

Topic: Summer Fit
* Why is Summer Fit different from other summer workbooks?
* Why is Summer Fit and “interactive” learning experience?
* How is Summer Fit formatted?
* Who is using Summer Fit?
* Why is does the summer resource market continue to grow?
* Who are some of Summer Fit partners and why do so many organizations outside of education support the body-brain connection that you make with Summer Fit?

Topic: George Starks, Creator of the Summer Fit series
* How long have you worked with summer learning resources?
* Why do you think summer vacation is so important in the performance of students during the school year?
* What do you say to parents who believe that their children should not have to read or do any schoolwork during the summer?
* What do you like most about Summer Fit specifically and summer in general?

 

2012 Blog Tour

May 23, 2012 - I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
May 23, 2012 - In the Pages
May 23, 2012 - Acting Balanced
May 25, 2012 - Café of Dreams Book Review
May 25, 2012 - Mad Moose Mama
May 27, 2012 - The Readathon
May 27, 2012 - My Sea of Books
May 28, 2012 - Cindy's Love of Books
May 29, 2012 - Inspired By Fiction
May 30, 2012 - Library of Clean Reads
May 30, 2012 - My Book Picks
May 30, 2012 - Year of Jubilee Reviews
May 31, 2012 - Simply Stacie
May 31, 2012 - Pages I Turn
May 31, 2012 - A Good Day To Read
June 4, 2012 - Rainy Day Reviews
June 4, 2012 - Wendi's Book Corner
June 5, 2012 - Molly Mormon
June 6, 2012 - For One Another
June 6, 2012 - The Knowlton Nest
June 7, 2012 - 4 The Love of Books
June 9, 2012 - Lighthouse Academy
June 10, 2012 - Must Read Faster
June 11, 2012 - Memorable Childrens Books & Gifts
June 13, 2012 - Reader Girls
June 14, 2012 - Minding Spot
June 19, 2012 - Mozi Esme
June 19, 2012 - The Friendly Book Nook
June 20, 2012 - Callista's Ramblings
June 26, 2012 - My Chaotic Ramblings
June 27, 2012 - Books & Needlepoint
June 28, 2012 - You Brew My Tea


June - Beth's Book Reviews
June - What Are You Reading Now
June - Gimme The Scoop Reviews

2012 Radio Tour

May 10th - KORN, Sioux Falls, SD 
May 11th - WJON, St. Clous, MN
May 17th - WOCA, Ocala, FL
May 23rd - KCMN, Colorado Springs, CO

June 6th - KPQ, Wenatchee, WA
June 8th - WTBQ, Warwick, NY
June 11th - KWAY, Waverly, IA
June 11th - KWUF, Pagosa Springs / Durango, CO
June 12th - WYAM-TV, Northern Alabama
June 13th - WICO, Salisbury, MD
June 14th - WLDY, Ladysmith, WI
June 18th - KCTE, Kansas City / Independence, MO
June 19th - KXEN, St Louis, MO
June 20th - WICC, Bridgeport, CT
June 21st - WAMV, Amherst, VA
June 25th - KDAZ, Albuquerque, NM