Schools get in gear for summer

With the goal of keeping students learning this summer, local schools are offering camps and programs where children can learn about science, light density, nature or playing the violin.

In the two months students have off, schools including Franklin, Greenwood and SS. Francis & Clare Catholic School are offering summer programs in unique subjects to keep students’ brains engaged.

All three schools have annual camps, such as Camp Invention at Franklin, a robotics camp at Greenwood Middle School and weekly-themed day camps at SS. Francis & Clare, but Franklin is expanding its options for students.

Earlier this year, Franklin schools began offering after-school enrichment classes during the school year, which will be extended into the summer, Franklin director of operations Bill Doty said. While some of the enrichment classes offered during the school year also will be available this summer, such as violin lessons, the rest will be new, Doty said.

Students can do an “icky, sticky” science camp with hands-on experiments teaching them about animals, light, density and matter, Doty said. Another class will combine art and yoga, encouraging children to step away from electronics and learn yoga moves to be more energized, calm and balanced. And students can participate in a new six-week speed and agility program to get ready for fall and winter sports, Doty said.

Annual programs, such as Camp Invention at Franklin and the themed camps at SS. Francis & Clare, are being tweaked this summer, too.

Children who attended last year’s Camp Invention built small go-karts and raced the student-made vehicles. But this year’s week-long goal is to build and operate Crickobots, which are small, solar-powered machines shaped like crickets, Camp Invention coordinator Stephanie Deeter said.

SS. Francis & Clare officials leaned on their camp counselors to come up with the themes and activities for each week, said camp coordinator and enrichment coordinator Greg Rader.

Popular camps each summer, such as a Harry Potter-themed week, will always be part of the program. But the lessons and curriculum will change to re-enforce some of the skills students learn during the year, Rader said. Other themes, such as ninja warriors and secret agents or superheroes, are built on what is popular with students during the school year, he said.

Most of the camp counselors are college students majoring in education, so this summer camp gives them experience writing lesson plans and including skills students are taught during the school year, Rader said. Once the counselors create their lesson plans, Rader goes through each activity to see if it is educational, will keep students engaged and be fun, he said.

“The goal is to keep their minds fresh for the next school year,” Rader said.

The programs offered

Local schools are offering programs this summer to keep students engaged in lessons and skills they learned during the school year. Here’s a look at some of the programs available:

Franklin schools

  • Camp Invention, June 13 to 17 (Grades 1 to 6), $230
  • Be Unplugged: Creative play with art and yoga, June 22 and 23, July 6 and 7 (Grades K to 2) July 18 and 20, July 25 and 27 (Grades 3 to 5), $55
  • Icky, Sticky Science, June 6 to 10 and June 13 to 17 (Grades 3 and 4), $85
  • Suzuki string orchestra, violin lessons, Thursdays (Grades 3 to 6), $102
  • Sports performance: Speed and agility program, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, June 6 to July 14 (Grades 6 to 8), $90

Greenwood Middle School

  • Robotics camp, June 20 to 24 (Grades 3 to 6)

SS. Francis and Clare Catholic School

The school has summer camps with different themes each week for students grades Pre-K through Grade 6. Cost is $160 per week.

  • “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” June 6 to 10
  • Harry Potter, June 13 to 17
  • Astronomy, June 20 to 24
  • Secret agent/Ninja warrior, June 27 to July 1
  • Stars and Stripes/’Merica, July 5 to 8
  • Superheroes, July 11 to 15
  • Nature, July 18 to 22
  • Give back week, July 25 to 29