Children broaden learning at Afternoon Academy
Hamburgers or hot dogs?
Tonganoxie Elementary students took their pick last Thursday after school, but food wasn't part of the answer.
The youths were playing a game in the elementary gymnasium during the Kid Fitness course, part of the school's annual Afternoon Academy.
Students would lay on their stomachs facing each other a few feet apart. Each side would be either hamburgers or hot dogs. If hamburger were yelled, all players would get up and run to the wall closest to the "hamburgers" side. If anyone on the hot dog side tagged the hamburgers before they touched the wall, they were out of the game.
The game was one of many for students in the class, which was taught by Debbie Zerrer.
"They like to do some relays and games and they like basketball," said Zerrer, who also is an aerobics instructor at Midwest Athletic Club in Tonganoxie..
The after-school class met every Thursday from Feb. 6 through last Thursday, and it marked the first year Zerrer has been involved in the program.
Clayton Neas, who is 6, said he had a lot of fun in the class and even had a favorite game.
"Duck, duck, goose," Clayton said.
Kid Fitness was one of many classes offered this year during the six-week academy. Chip and Fran Marquardt again taught a rocket ship course and Wal-Mart in Bonner Springs, Lawrence and Leavenworth again donated a total of roughly $75 for the rocket engines. The class was taught on Mondays, as was Introduction to Chess with Jana Gorman.
Chefs Delight with Michelle Deveau and Intermediate Chess with Billy Ottens were available on Tuesdays, as were Huck Towel Weaving with Connie Putthoff and Drama Class with Joel Nido and Devin Hughey, two drama students at Tonganoxie High.
Academy director Earleta Morey said classes were popular with students, as was another Tuesday course, Art Class, with high schoolers Aubrey Koontz and Brianna Deaver. Both courses are new this year.
"The kids just love them," Morey said. "It's nice to have teenage kids interact with younger kids."
Beginning Hand Sewing with Lisa Smith rounded out the Tuesday courses.
On Wednesdays, Zerrer conducted Chef's Delight and Marilyn Thompson instructed T-towel Embroidery.
Thursdays finished up with the fitness course and Arts and Crafts, which Kathy Baragary instructed.
The academy ends today, but in the future, Morey would like to have sessions in the fall, as well as the annual precursor to spring break.
"I think it's just a successful program," Morey said.
This year, between 80 and 90 students participated.
More classes would suit Morey well, but she said space and more volunteers are needed for that to occur.
"I think if I could find more teachers I could get more classes," she said.
Now finishing her fourth year as the director, Morey wouldn't mind adding a photography course to the course list.
Someone also discussed a gun safety course, Morey said.
"Anything anyone would be willing to teach we would be open to," Morey said.
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