by Mia Bivaletz
It might be summer, but students in Warren Township have chosen to spend time back at school. Following in the footsteps of over 20 years of successful summers, the current 2014 Summer Fun program has been shining brighter ever day!
This summer, there are 35 teachers and paraprofessionals working with over 300 children enrolled. Students were able to select from a menu of 21 classes, consisting of a wide variety of choices from academics, to athletics, to the Arts. Discover Science, taught by MaryBeth LeBlond, allows students to explore science principles through hands-on experiences. Each day presents with a new experiment and new learning as students investigate the power of microscopes, magnets, and air pressure. They are eager to discover the science behind Silly Putty, slime, bubbles, and crystals. Wouldn’t you be?
Susan Leonard heard a resounding “yes” on the first day of her class, So You Want To Sew. Students have begun to learn important skills and techniques, sewing by hand in addition to using sewing machines. They are thrilled to have opportunities to make items such as the following: tote bags, pocketbooks, cell phone holders, lap quilts, and pillows.
With MasterChef Junior as a recent television hit, Cooks and Books has youngsters bubbling over with excitement when it comes to cooking. Matching that with students’ love of reading, teacher Michele Tanzi said, “Reading has never tasted so good!” Her class is a perfect way to take fledgling chefs on a culinary adventure. With a focus on nutritious and delicious foods, the class utilizes books not only for recipes, but to celebrate diverse cultures.
Gymnastics and P.L.A.Y., taught by Shannon O’Shea and Laura Lamson respectively, are active and engaging. With a certified USGA gymnastics trainer, students stretch, tumble, cartwheel and flip. The focus is on strength training and flexibility. During P.L.A.Y. (Physical & Leisure Activities for the Young), students stay fit through indoor and outdoor sports and games such as waffle ball, Eskimos, and ice castles. The focus is on trust, teamwork, and self-expression.
Working together for the last decade, Coordinator Meryl Lettire and her assistant Eileen Haddican, have seen the program grow and change in many positive and exciting ways. They now allow weekly schedules so students can pick different classes each week. They have different options for students attending all five weeks as well as a flexible schedule if families go out of town.
Another improvement has been in pricing, as Lettire and Haddican offered sibling discounts, early bird discounts, and supersaver discounts. “Each year we strive to find exciting new course offerings, to provide amazing choices to complement our amazing students,” said Lettire. Warren Summer Fun… Shining Brighter Every Day!
From appliqué and bobbins, to thimbles and yardage, students are always ready to go, go, go, and sew! Instructor Susan Leonard is teaching her students important skills. First, the children have been hand sewing with a needle and thread. Then they will progress to the sewing machine and practice sewing mazes to get the stitching straight. Finally, they will move on to fabric, picking through piles and piles of colors, patterns and textures! At Summer Fun, they will create bookmarks, tote bags, cell phone holders, lap quilts, pillows and more!
In Shannon O'Shea's gymnastics class, students do warm-up routines to improve flexibility. They are careful to stretch their shoulders and work on their form while in a bridge like this one. All the participants are eager to tumble, twist, cartwheel and flip as well!
PE teacher Laura Lamson runs the P.L.A.Y. class at Summer Fun, which stands for Physical and Leisure Activities for the Young. Activities involve teamwork and cooperation while promoting exercise. The game was so engaging that fellow REACH teacher PJ Jones raced in with his class to join in the fun!
Mary Beth LeBlond and her students agree that discovering science is always a hit! The Egg Drop is a classic science experiment that allows students to demonstrate Sir Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion, namely inertia. With a quick and confident tap on the pie plate, young scientists met the challenge as they all successfully made the egg drop into the water, thus supporting Newton's theory.
In Michele Tanzi's Summer Fun class, children are chefs on a culinary adventure. They whip up something different every two days, and learn about food and nutrition as well as measuring, and helpful kitchen tips! Books enhance the experience as the students celebrate diverse cultures and ethnic options.