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BPS Summer Program Triples In Size

Posted 6/22/2017

STUDENTS pay close attention while listening to a story during the Kansas Reading Roadmap summer program at Bentley Primary School.  STUDENTS pay close attention while listening to a story during the Kansas Reading Roadmap summer program at Bentley Primary School. By Jared Janzen

BENTLEY—School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean learning should stop. This month a record number of students at Bentley Primary School are engaged in continuing their reading skills during the Kansas Reading Roadmap summer school program.

“It’s a chance basically for the kids not to lose anything during the summer, because research has shown that kids that don’t have any kind of schooling during the summer fall back before school starts,” Coordinator Sharla Warren said. She added that summer engagement is even more important for students who already struggle.

Program enrollment has tripled since last summer, from 27 students to 82 involved this year. This represents about 40 percent of the school population during the regular year.

“We’re finally getting all of the ones that actually need it are here, which is huge because last year there were a lot that needed it that just didn’t come,” Warren said.

In the morning, students rotate through different sessions related to reading, vocabulary and math. For the sessions on reading skills they break into smaller groups based on their target needs, like comprehension or fluency.

“The advancement in their reading skills is amazing to me, and how much they’re having fun while they’re learning without realizing that they’re learning sometimes,” Warren said. “That’s the best thing.”

After lunch, students have different topics like science or community service depending on the day. They also spend time on art and recreation.

This year’s theme is all about detectives. Each of the groups has a name that appears on the back of their t-shirts, like Mystery Machines, Dynamite Detectives, Sherlock Holmes or Spy Kids. Some of the crafts and activities are mystery-related, like deactivating pretend bombs, and in between each session, the theme to “Mission: Impossible” plays over the intercom as students sneak through the halls to their next classroom.

Another fun opportunity is that each student is writing and illustrating a story that will be published in their own hard-copy volume.

“The kids are pretty excited about that,” Warren said.

To continue reading, please see this week's print edition.