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Archive for Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Summer school sessions start across Lawrence

District offers math, reading and enrichment to keep minds active

July 14, 2004

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Sydney Combs, 5, likes icing and vanilla wafers.

But working on an art project incorporating the two items Tuesday almost proved too much for her. Sydney, along with classmates in teacher Amy Gingrich's summer art class at Prairie Park School, spent class time creating a color wheel by mixing different colored icing with toothpicks on the wafers.

"It's pretty fun," Sydney said, licking the icing off her plastic gloves. "I like this. I like the colors."

About 300 elementary school students completed their second day of summer school Tuesday. The classes are providing some students a chance for enrichment activities, such as art, drama and Spanish, while others are getting a boost in their reading and math skills.

Prairie Park is offering reading, math and enrichment classes, while Hillcrest and Pinckney schools are offering math and reading classes. Hillcrest also has an English as a Second Language course, said Ellen Willets, federal program specialist for the Lawrence school district.

Willets said students in the reading and math courses had to be recommended by a teacher to be in one of the classes.

"These are students who, at the end of the school year, needed additional assistance or a little bit of a boost," Willets said.

Sydney Combs, 5, puts on some gloves to keep from getting colored
icing on her hands during an art project. Summer school started
this week. Prairie Park School, where Sydney and other students are
taking enrichment courses, such as language, art and drama, also
offers the basics: math and reading.

Sydney Combs, 5, puts on some gloves to keep from getting colored icing on her hands during an art project. Summer school started this week. Prairie Park School, where Sydney and other students are taking enrichment courses, such as language, art and drama, also offers the basics: math and reading.

Prairie Park Principal David Williams said the summer courses took the basic knowledge a student needed to know and applied it in a different way.

"For some of the kids in remedial classes, this is providing them a new way of looking at the subject matter," he said. "Sometimes it will be a more hands-on approach."

It's the first year for summer school classes at Prairie Park, Williams said. He said teachers, who are from different schools in the district, worked to make the experience fun and enjoyable for students during the 16 days of class.

"But it also can make a real difference," Williams said. Students could lose about a month's worth of learning during the summer, he said.

Nick Rice, 7, spreads two colors of frosting on a vanilla wafer to
create a new color during an art class. Nick and his classmates
were learned about the color wheel Tuesday. Sydney, Nick and their
classsmates ate their completed work.

Nick Rice, 7, spreads two colors of frosting on a vanilla wafer to create a new color during an art class. Nick and his classmates were learned about the color wheel Tuesday. Sydney, Nick and their classsmates ate their completed work.

Gingrich, who teaches in Eudora, said she decided to teach the art class because it was one of the first summers she could fit it into her schedule.

She has had to adjust her teaching style to the class. Gingrich usually teaches middle and high school students. In her summer school class, students range from 5 to 13 years old.



"I had to find programs and activities that all kids could succeed in doing," Gingrich said.

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