Checking out the D.A.R.E. Go-cart at the Connections open house at CES.
Last Friday the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Connections home school program hosted a community open house and student field trip at the Central Emergency Services (CES) in Soldotna, “This was a combination event for us. First an opportunity for the community to come out and learn more about what our program is all about and two, a chance for our home school students to get together and learn more about our emergency services in Soldotna and what our 1st responders do here at the fire station, and most importantly an opportunity to get together, talk with each other, have some fun and share a hot dog,” said Connections principal Lee Young. As Young was talking with Dispatch reporters, 13-year-old Chelsea O’Hara was diligently interviewing CES Fire Marshall Gary Hale for a paper she was writing on CES activities.
13-year-old Chelsea O'Hara interviews CES Fire Marshall Gary Hale for a home school assignment at Connections open house.
Next to Chelsea a couple home school twins were checking out the Drug Abuse Resistance Education D.A.R.E program Go-Cart, “We take this cart to schools and I have some special visual impairment goggles that simulates what your vision is like after drinking. With an officer or teacher in the cart we actually let the kids feel what it would be like to drive after drinking in the hopes that when confronted with that choice they will choose not to drink,” said Soldotna Police Department School Resource Officer, Tony Garcia.
Connection advisors Bob VanDerWege and Doug Hogue, enjoy a red hot at CES open house.
Meanwhile at the barbeque Connections High school Advisor, Bob VanDerWege served up hot dogs with all the trimmings, “This was a great opportunity for us to meet with parents and community members and explain what we are all about,” said VanDerWege. According to Lee Young one of the benefits of the Connection program is that the money is utilized within the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, “We’re asking home school parents to give us a shout and tell us what we can do to keep them as part of the Kenai Peninsula education family. I personally guarantee you we will do anything and everything to make your home school experience the best that it can be,” added Young.
Connections principal Lee Young gathers with home schoolers at CES for an open house & hotdog BBQ.
The Connections program is only available to families within the Kenai Peninsula School District, “We do not extend outside our school district boundaries because we are focused on doing whatever it takes to educate our kids on the Kenai. We think the competition is healthy and it motivates us to do a better job for our students on the Peninsula, but we don’t go elsewhere,” said Young. The other home school assistance available on the Peninsula is the IDEA program which is associated with the Galena School District and has offices locally on K-Beach Rd. and in Homer
The home school calendar runs 12 months and enrollment is always open, “We actually school year round and there may be some summer activities that lend them selves to science or environmental curriculum, so with Connections we like to say you get the best of both worlds and during the school year a full time Connections student may take a couple of classes at public school maybe sports or other activities, or even get college credits at KPC,” said Young. For more information on the Connections program call 714-8880.
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