Tempe Elementary Summer School Program Offers One-Of-A-Kind Classroom Experiences
This is not your average summer school. Ocean Adventures, Grossology, Li’l Engineers, Space Adventure and Bubbleology are just a few of the unique classes that were offered during Tempe Elementary School District’s Summer Enrichment Program. Hands-on learning and discovery was the heartbeat of the program, and kept a total of 824 students of all ages engaged this summer.
“Summer school has been a joy this year. Every day I could hear chatter and laughter of students having fun while learning. I never once heard a student say, ‘I’m bored,’ and that’s because this program found different ways to get the kids excited about learning,” said Michelle Hart, program director.
Lindsey Matykiewicz, Ocean Adventures teacher, structured her class through short lessons on a topic, and then encouraged her students to explore that topic through interactive learning stations.
“I loved teaching this class because the focus is all about discovery and fun and learning in a hands-on way. The kids lead the discussion, and it’s their questions that drive my lesson plans each day,” said Matykiewicz.
Teachers weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the change of pace from the traditional school year.
“We got to do fun crafts like one that teaches us how an octopus changes colors and learning how the ocean looks,” said Second-Grader Jack Metcalfe.
Another student in the Ocean Adventures class agreed that the crafts were fun, but also had an additional reason in mind for why she enjoyed coming to the Summer Enrichment Program.
“I like the friends I get to be with during summer school,” said Third-Grader Emery Garcia.
The Summer Enrichment Program brought together students from across the Valley – not just TD3 students.
“This program is great because it’s an opportunity to bring together students and parents from different communities and it forms a melting pot of students and families. It’s great for all of us,” said Matykiewicz.
Running a summer school program like this for over 800 students was no small feat. Official planning began back in December and involved coordination with nearly every single department in the District.
“This has been a great year. I attribute most of the success of this program to the teachers and the administrative team who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure everything went smoothly for the kids and their families. It created a positive culture and kept the energy high. We’re all excited to check back in with students we’ve connected with through this program to see how they are doing during the school year,” Hart added.
Thank you to all who took part in the Summer Enrichment Program and contributed to the success and growth of students!