Summertime Fun program aims to help HS students

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By Jesef Williams

HEATH SPRINGS – Heath Springs Elementary School is about to start a program that faculty members hope will help students retain what they learned during the previous school year.

The school will sponsor Summertime Fun each Tuesday to July 29.

Any student returning to Heath Springs Elementary for the 2008-09 year can attend the program. The Summertime Fun program starts this Tuesday.

Principal Sheri Watson said plans for Summertime Fun started after faculty realized that some students performed worse on standardized tests when they were administered again at the start of the new school year.

This program will offer a fun, more relaxed approach to learning. Computer games and other interactive activities will be used to reinforce certain math and reading principles, Watson said.

The hope is that teachers will have to spend less time at the start of the year reteaching material from the previous grade.

"Every year, we spend so much time catching them up from what they lost," Watson said. "It's meant to be a steady climb up, but it's really hard to do that when we let them go over the summer."

School personnel have taken the students' test data and are preparing appropriate learning materials for each student.

They will form reading groups during the two-month program, in which they will have book discussions and mentor each other. The students can also check out books from the school's library and the Lancaster County Library bookmobile.

"It will be an avenue where our children can read all summer," Watson said. "Kind of like a book club."

Various community members will visit for one hour each time. A law enforcement officer and a martial artist are some of the visitors on tap. Lunch will be served each day, though parents are required to provide transportation for their child.

More than 50 students have already signed up for the program, Watson said. There is no limit to the number who can participate.

To register your child or for more details, call Watson at the school at (803) 273-3176 or 286-8621.