Summer program proves successful

Posted: Monday, August 06, 2001

The After the Bell summer program will come to a close Thursday after two fun-filled sessions.

The program, for first- through eighth-graders, offers children the chance to participate in activities such as field trips, daily reading opportunities and hands-on learning experiences.

The theme for the first session in June was "Nature's Treasures." Students learned about the environment and made trips to Slikok Creek and the Kenai River Center.

The second session's theme in July was "Soaring to the Top." Activities focused on self-confidence, socialization and achieving goals.

Last Friday, students went on a field trip to see "2001: A Fish Odyssey," the summer art show at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. They participated in the Progress Days Parade in Soldotna July 28. They also had Don the Magician as a guest.

Each After the Bell student set up to 20 goals, both short-term and long-term, toward which they wanted to work.

"They've been real proud of each achievement they've made," said Jeanne Waldren, program director.

Children learn to support each other through the daily interaction.

"They lift each other up," said Tammy Hanley, summer clubhouse director.

Program attendance has been high, averaging above 60. Students were divided in groups between five clubhouse staff and four junior staff each day.

The junior staff members are high school students who have taken the positions as summer employment.

"We've got the cream of the crop," Waldren said.

The full schedule has kept the students' interest at a maximum.

"The kids smile and tell us that they're having fun," Hanley said.

The program has been a success, staff said, and will be offered again next summer.

Registration for the school year After the Bell program will be Aug. 27 through 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Redoubt Elementary, Soldotna Elementary and Soldotna Middle schools.

For more information, call Jeanne Waldren at 283-2682.

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