Archive for Thursday, June 21, 2001

Summertime = learning time

June 21, 2001

The De Soto School District is making learning fun for 700 students at the Summer Academy this month.

The academic continuation and enrichment programs are being offered at Clear Creek and Starside elementary schools, and Monticello Trails Middle School. The academic continuation program is also being offered at De Soto High School.

Program Coordinator Paula Henderson said the four-year-old program is a great thing for the students of the De Soto School District.

"Summer is a long time and retention of skills acquired during the past year is important," Henderson said. "It also broadens their horizons as far as enrichment and gives them more information about things they are interested in."

In the continuation portion of the program, students are referred by teachers during the school year. The enrichment sessions are open to all students, many of whom attend for a week.

Some of the Summer Academy enrichment programs are Crafts Galore, Kids in the Kitchen, Harry Potter Pizazz, Spanish, Dynamic Dance and Sign Language. Groom Your Room, Train to be a Real Firefighter and Girls Just Want to Have Fun are among the most popular programs, Henderson said. Students make things for their rooms in Groom Your Room while female students listen to music, paint fingernails and hang out with their friends in Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

"I tell the teachers to think of it as a short course that they would like to teach in a relaxed atmosphere," Henderson said. "There are a lot of science experiment classes."

Starside Elementary Art Teacher Chris Cappel teaches the "Crazy With Clay" program at the Summer Academy. Cappel said the program allows teachers to do things that may not get done during the school year.

"The Summer Aacdemy program provides a variety of things for kids do," Cappel said. "Teachers do things they don't get to teach in the regular classroom."

The students also relate their crafts to things they are learning at the time. In the Harry Potter class, students created pretzels in the shape of magic wands. At Monticello Trails, there is a Jazz Band program and while there is no program at Lexington Trails Middle School, Henderson said several students travel across the district to attend the program the middle school level.

"It is really a hands on program," Henderson said. "The students make a snack that relates to the subject they are learning."

Starside fourth grader David Karnitz said he learned a lot of things from the program and especially enjoyed the Harry Potter course.

"We made hats and wands and a yearbook," Karnitz said. " I am going to come back next year too."

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