Archive for Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tonganoxie Elementary School’s summer programs put focus on fun, academics

June 22, 2005

By Maggie Bailey

Summer programs at Tonganoxie Elementary School, which wrapped up last week, provided opportunities for children to spend a few extra days at learning.

On Friday, 28 pre-kindergarten students graduated from the sixth annual Pre K Summer Academy. The academy is geared toward children who are preparing to enter their first year of school as a kindergartner.

Students in the program went through a 90-minute testing and screening. And because only 24 students are allowed in the program, they receive individual attention as they work on skills that will prove useful once they arrive at kindergarten.

"The progress that the students make is significant, they don't grow a little bit but they grow a lot," said Jerry Daskoski, Tonganoxie Elementary School principal.

Another summer program -- and one that's quite popular -- is the Summer Enrichment program. The 8-year-old program is designed to allow students more options for extracurricular activities during summer.

"The (swimming) pool is a great thing, but for extracurricular activities, Tonganoxie needed more," Daskoski said.

The enrichment program was open to all elementary grade levels and offered a variety of classes that teachers created. These were classes that teachers would not normally be able to teach, such as Stamp-a-rama, Fabulous Fun with photos and more educational ones such as art, South of the Border and Nature in a Nutshell.

Daskoski compared enrollment for the enrichment program to a department store sale.

"There is always a line backed up to the corner of Second Street," he said.

Another program, the Summer Academic program, has been running for about three years, and this year, it attracted between 60 and 70 students. It provides help with reading and math.

In addition to summer programs, the elementary school offers two "Jump Start" programs, which take place the first week in August.

In order to reach more students, the Jump Start program offers transportation to the students.

That program is a refresher course open to students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

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