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June 13, 2013

Athens State, Tanner work together on youth summer enrichment program

— It’s almost as if school hasn’t ended for nearly 45 children attending a summer enrichment program at Tanner High School.

Kids are running on the playground, making masterpieces in art class and either falling asleep or sitting wide-eyed during story time, but the bells aren’t ringing and there aren’t any report cards heading home. It’s a chance to make new friends, relax and learn.

Dr. Cathy Woodruff of Athens State University said this is the third year they’ve hosted the program at Tanner, thanking principal Billy Owens for his unending support.

Enrichment classes are open to any child in a Limestone County school.

Wednesday saw the groups reading picture books, building PVC contraptions and concocting modeling dough from scratch, all the while learning reading, math and science skills.

“It’s fun things that also teach,” said Dr. Pat Kuby, who was leading a group of first- and second-graders in measuring exercises.

An added benefit is the free lunch and breakfast programs offered not only to enrichment students, but also to any child in the Tanner community up to age 18. Breakfast begins at 7:45 a.m. and ends at 8:15, and lunch begins at 11 and goes until 11:30.

Classes for this year’s program are focused on the theme of community. Children will read books by acclaimed author and illustrator Patricia Polacco, do writing and art projects based on the theme and make presentations to their fellow students.

While the kids enjoy a day of constructive activities, Athens State University is taking the time to train the next generation of teachers, by supplying its own field experience students to teach ABC’s and 123’s.

The enrichment program doesn’t meet on Fridays, but will pick up again next week.

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