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Column: District 518 ready for summer programming

District 518

WORTHINGTON -- Just as most of the school district is winding down for the year, some programs are just gearing up to offer various learning opportunities for students. Some programs will provide remediation to younger students; special education students will be receiving instruction provided in accordance with their Individualized Educational Plans so that they do not regress; and the Area Learning Center will be providing core classes to high school aged students who have fallen behind in credits and need to catch up in order to graduate with their classes. Area Learning Center classes are open to students in District 518 and nearby districts.

In addition, to these offering the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program is starting its very first summer enrichment program this summer, Summer Adventure Club. Summer Adventure Club is all about building engaging classes to help students learn in a fun learning environment that helps students socialize with other students, and to allow them an opportunity to get involved in activities outside of school. Some of the enrichment classes that we will be offering this summer are music/drama, High Flyers, writing classes to create books or newspapers, art, scrapbooking, Hip Hop, Cool Careers and Mega Money, Sewing and Fashion, Healthy Cooking, Jewelry Making and more.

The community is working together to help make this a great program. Minnesota West will be letting us use its facility to have some of our classes and will offer some career opportunities for students along with field trips to other businesses in town. This is close to the YMCA facility to allow students to lift weights, play gym games and take swimming lessons. Students will also get to sign up for special activities through Mad Science, Prairie Ecology Bus, Spanish and Soccer Camps, and Climb Theater offered through the Nobles County Integration Collaborative (NCIC).

All of these classes are made possible by the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant (21st CCLC), a federally funded program administered by the state that the Worthington School District received in August of 2009.

Students that qualify for summer school will get to participate in these activities. These students are referred by their classroom teacher and must meet the Targeted Services enrollment criteria. The 21st CCLC grant allows students to participate in enrichment classes to help students improve their attendance during the out of school time. This includes after school programs and summer school. They build fun activities to enhance regular school learning.

Summer programming will start June 28 and will include academics for part of the time each day and enrichment. The academics will be offered every morning through July 22. About 400 students in grades 1-8 will participate in this comprehensive Targeted Services program which will focus on math and reading skills along with offering engaging learning enrichments such as science, art, computer, drama, Study Island and nutrition. In order to participate in these classes, students must meet targeted services requirements which include being significantly behind in math or reading and lacking proficiency in English.

Targeted Services and the 21st CCLC grant are working together to offer this expanded four weeks of summer school, enrichment, and transition classes for any new students or students entering kindergarten, middle school or the high school. Both programs are working to create a comprehensive after school program for students during the school year.

Erin Lawrence is the 21st Century Community Learning Center Coordinator. Rhonda Brandt is Targeted Services Coordinator.