Conducted at Liberty Elementary for the past five years, the two sessions of five-day summer programs allow rising first- through fifth-grade students classes that are not typically offered during the school year, said program co-director Laura Akers.
“It allows our students to spend time with their friends and teachers during the summer,” Akers said.
Akers, a first-grade teacher at Liberty, said the program had 140 students enrolled last summer. With the inclusion of Sixes this year, 236 students were able to take advantage of the offerings.
The enrichment program’s 11 class offerings include edible science, gardening, scrapbooking and hip-hop dance classes.
“I think it taps into the different interests of the students and might give them an interest they can pursue later on,” Akers said.
The program’s first session began last week and the second session will culminate on Friday. Tuition for the program was $80 per student, covering the cost of supplies and teacher salaries.
Each of the classes are taught by Liberty and Sixes teachers, who also choose what type of class they want to teach.
Akers said she and co-director Brandy Thierry, a kindergarten teacher at Liberty, hope to grow the program.
“Our ultimate goal is to branch out to all schools throughout the county so all students can have access to this type of program,” Akers said.
Thierry, who previously taught a cooking class for the program, said she saw a lot of smiling faces and received many compliments from parents in her first year as co-director.
She said she was glad to get more involved in the program.
“From years past of actually teaching in the program and seeing how the kids just love to come every day, I thought it would be neat to get on the other side and promote it more,” Thierry said.
Thierry echoed Akers’ sentiment of wanting to get more district teachers and students involved next summer.
“It’s really a great way for kids to keep their minds and bodies active during the summer,” Thierry said.