Charles Street School’s Summer Enrichment Program Wraps Up Its Second Year

Programs include ELA, Math and Social and Emotional Learning


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Charles Street School in Palmyra is wrapping up its second annual Summer Enrichment and Acceleration Academy this month. The program runs for three days a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in July, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. 

The Summer Enrichment and Acceleration Academy welcomes students entering 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Octavia Lee, the Principal at Charles Street School, says that the program “provides enrichment for students who were experiencing learning gaps because of the pandemic.” At the end of the school year, the students were selected based on their standardized test scores. The teachers in the program encourage students to fill the gap in the subject areas of reading and math.

In the academy, the students were at the cusp or the border of their specific incoming grade level. There were around 40 students total enrolled in the program, with two teachers per grade. There are 11 second-graders, 13 third-graders and fifteen fourth and fifth-graders. The students are split into various combinations: the first group is in the English and Language Arts (ELA) acceleration program, the second group only requires assistance with math and the third group needs acceleration in both ELA and math.

The Charles Street School students who only need acceleration in one subject participate in enrichment activities for the second half of the day. 

“We provide enrichment opportunities and project-based learning in math,” Lee noted. The students are taught lessons about topics such as place value and time. “A lot of students needed help with number sets and dice. We didn’t want to only focus on content like addition or subtraction, and wanted to have hands-on opportunities.”

For ELA, there are a lot of projects and scenario-based assignments in the academy. “The students will get a scenario, like if a zombie apocalypse is happening. They have to answer the questions, ‘What is the best destination to go to?’ If someone invaded their town, they would have to do research. ‘Where would you go?’ ‘Who would you take with you?’” Lee explained. Students in the ELA program also practice public speaking exercises, where they have to convince their classmates to visit certain places and countries by using their reading and writing skills.

Lee recognizes how important the Summer Enrichment and Acceleration Academy is for the Charles Street School. “We’re in our second year, and are focused on the cusp students’ intentionality and focus to get on grade level. It’s not always about accelerating, it’s about enriching.” 

There is another set of teachers at the school who are in charge of social-emotional learning programs. The Guidance Counselor leads various lessons in this category where students learn to manage their emotions. Students can take part in activities like yoga and arts and crafts. Lee appreciates how the program improves the childrens’ education and well-being and is excited to continue the program next year. “We are focused on the whole child,” she said.


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