Although many children are relaxing for the summer, class remains in session for those students involved in Ohio County Schools' extended school year programs.
The programs provide more than 200 children at different grade levels an opportunity to learn throughout June and are open to all students in the county. Sites include Elm Grove and Madison elementary schools, Bridge Street Middle School and Wheeling Park High School.
"Children are excited to come," said MaryLu Hutchins, director for student services at Ohio County Schools, emphasizing the unique learning opportunity that promotes interactive activities at every grade level.
Ohio County Schools teacher Patty Henderson instructs students at Bridge Street Middle School during the school system’s Extended School Year Program.
She added that extended school year participation is often a joint decision involving students, teachers and families.
The elementary program focuses on reading and math skills. Health and fitness are incorporated into academic work as one activity involved students estimating how far they could jump, then measuring the outcomes after jumping.
Fitness continues at the middle school level as students utilize Bridge Street Elementary School's Live Positively Fitness Center. The idea, according to Hutchins, is that children are better able to learn if they are active.
The high school program, while still promoting activity, focuses on career exploration. Students will visit 22 businesses and organizations during their time in the program.
"We're very grateful to community members," Hutchins said of those who chose to participate.
Additionally, some students choose to be involved in the extended school year to make their schedules more flexible in the fall.
Free breakfast and lunch are provided at each site, something that Hutchins cited as important to promoting student success in the classroom.
The extended school year program is funded by a grant through the J.B. Chambers Foundation that supports the fitness activities embedded in academic work.