Southampton County celebrates summer school programs

Published 12:48 pm Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer school programs drew to a close on Thursday as Riverdale Elementary and Southampton Middle schools hosted public exhibitions to allow students to show off their successes.

The Summer Quest program, designed for elementary school students, provided children with additional educational enrichment opportunities during the summer break.

The students were grouped by grade level, with one teacher and one teaching assistant per grade. The theme for kindergarten through second grade was “Reading Around the World” with kindergarten and first grade students learning about Brazil and the Olympics, and second grade students studying Mexico and Africa, with an emphasis on Ghana and its culture.

Third through fifth graders completed project-based instruction pulled from the Virginia Standards of Learning. Third grade completed projects about deserts, fourth grade studied physics by learning about sound and light, and fifth grade studied Earth science.

“I enjoyed this,” said Sheila Lewis, an instructor. “I think it’s an experience all children should have. They come in thinking it’ll be a lot of work, but they enjoy themselves so much.”

Amesheia Warren, the acting principal and lead administrator for Summer Quest, agreed.

“The teachers worked very hard and students were engaged every day. The kids were excited to come and hated to leave,” she said.

Meanwhile, at Southampton Middle School, students in sixth to eighth grade participated in the Twenty-First Century Discovery Summer Camp. They mainly experienced science, math, reading and technology, and but were also able to participate in clubs such as the dance club, sports club, gardening club, scrapbook club, art club and more.

Twenty-First Century students also took field trips to Old Dominion University, the Richmond Metro Zoo, Pocahontas State Park, the Virginia Air and Space Museum and Colonial Williamsburg, among others.

“This program is such a great experience for students,” said Carla Francis, a language arts teacher. “It offers them opportunities such as visiting local colleges, zoos and parks. Being a teacher in this program is very rewarding because you get to watch students grow and learn.”

Southampton County Schools would to thank all involved for making both summer school programs a success.

“Our administrators and teachers have ensured that our students receive high quality instruction that fosters exceptional engagement centered around sustainability of skills and futuristic learning,” Superintendent Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon said in a statement. “I want to thank the students, parents, school personnel, community organizations and our school board for their collaboration and participation in making our students and school district the greatest.”

“We are grateful for the dedication of our parents, schools and community,” said Kelli Gillette, director of special programs and instructional services. “Each day our students were welcomed and nurtured by amazing administrators and teachers.”