With one year under the belt, the county school district is hoping to build on its summer enrichment and reading programs with expanded offerings and new ideas to keep students primed through the dog day months.
RCS Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Michael Perry explained hard copies of the 2011 Summer Program Guide will be available from each school’s front office, at the RCS Central Office and various other locations throughout the county beginning next week.
They will also be available for parents to download online from the RCS Web site, www.richmond.k12.nc.us.
“We have several new opportunities for students, particularly in our secondary schools, including Career Technical Education offerings that we weren’t able to provide last year,” Perry said Friday. “We’re very excited about the creative activities our students will be engaged in, and we are confident that these programs will contribute to increased student learning.”
Richmond County Schools Spokeswoman Ashley Simmons explained many parents informed the system they wished they had more time to look through the opportunities and plan around other summer activities after last year’s pilot run.
“This year, we worked diligently to ensure that the materials went home to families in a timely fashion,” Simmons explained. “Next week every student in the district will receive a letter, informing their families that the brochures are available. We will also send a phone message to our stakeholders, using our Alert Now calling system.”
The guide contains all of the information families need to plan a summer full of learning opportunities for their children. It features a listing of the Summer Enrichment and Summer Reading Programs by grade level with all dates and times, so that they can plan around other summer events.
It also details the information about the RCS Summer Feeding Program, offering a lunchtime meal free of charge to RCS students, which will operate at two schools - Monroe Avenue Elementary and Rockingham Middle.
The guide also contains the registration form parents will need to register their children for the Summer Enrichment Programs and the Summer Reading Program.
One of the programs being offered in the Summer Reading Program will be offered by the Ninth Grade Academy’s Terry Craven and RCS Information Technology Director Jeff Epps, who have based a program a popular teenage literary series called “The Hunger Games.”
As a part of the program, students will be able to design one of the central locations to the books using interactive 3-D technology shared with the school district by the Fort Bragg BRAC Regional Task Force.
“This series taps into a lot of things that are really popular with teenagers,” Craven explained Friday. “It has a little bit of that vampire-type of attraction to it. It has reality television. It’s a trendy type series, but the writing is done very well and it’s a really good book for anyone who likes a good read.”
This program, entitled “The Hunger Games,” is only open to rising and current ninth graders in the school district.
The Summer Enrichment Programs require a non-refundable $10 fee per session. Payment for the Summer Enrichment Programs is due with registration. Registrations for the Summer Enrichment Programs are due to Dorothy Little at the Richmond County Schools Central Office by Thursday April 21, 2011.
West Rockingham Elementary Counselor Meghann Barberousse will be the instructor for four summer enrichment programs, including one that builds on a program from last year that focused on agriculture by opening it up to higher grade levels.
“Last year, I did ‘Down on the Farm’ with kindergarten through second graders, and it was a really big hit,” she said. “The kids loved it. The adults loved it. We all just had a good time, so I thought this year I would open it up to the older kids in third through fifth.”
She explained this year a health education component has been added to last year’s program, and it will be called “Health is a Habit: Cultivate It.”
“We’re really trying to incorporate not only learning about the farm and where food comes from, but also an overall healthy lifestyle,” Barberousse said. “I would like them to learn about exercise, also, and that you are what you eat.”
The Summer Reading Programs and Summer Feeding Program are free of charge to all students. Registrations for the Summer Reading Program are due to Patty Bowden at the Central Office by Thursday April 21, 2011. The Summer Feeding Program does not require a registration.
Registration closes on April 21, 2011, the day before students are dismissed for Spring Break. Questions can be directed to the Richmond County Schools Central Office, by calling 582-5860.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at email@example.com.