Laura Akers, Summer Enrichment Academy director, is a first-grade teacher at Liberty Elementary School and helped to start the enrichment program, now in its sixth year.
“We offer lots of different classes for the students,” Akers said. “They can create movies using the computer and different programs ... They can make necklaces and barrettes and bags and T-shirts. We also have an edible science class, where all the experiments are actually edible.”
The program offers students the chance to do a little hands-on learning before leaving school for the summer, Akers said, and gives teachers the chance to get in a bit more work before the break.
“We were just looking for options for students to do in the summer,” Akers said. “To provide an opportunity to the students to do things outside of school that they’re interested in, that they wouldn’t get to do during the school year. And also, it provides an opportunity for teachers who work the program to make a little more money.”
Akers said the Summer Enrichment Academy is growing.
With registration in April and May, more than 300 children were registered for the program this year, up from just more than 200 children last year, Akers said
Along with Liberty Elementary students, the Summer Enrichment Academy also accepts students from Sixes and Knox elementary schools.
“This is the first year for Knox joining us,” Akers said. “The goal is to expand it to one or two more elementary schools each year.”
A range of classes are offered by 17 teachers to interest all students, Akers said, including activities such as face painting, perpetual motion sports class and experiments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
In the past, the Summer Enrichment Academy ran once a day for two weeks, but this summer the program was consolidated to one week with two sessions each day, and Akers gave some credit to the schedule change for a rise in enrollment this year.
Students at the Summer Enrichment Academy can choose to stay for both sessions and bring a lunch for the in-between time, Akers said, and each session costs $80 for tuition.