Pictured above – Hayla Olendorf works with students at Jere Whitson during the PCSS Summer Learning Camp

Students sharpened their reading and math skills while participating in STREAM activities

Putnam County – Most Putnam County students have been enjoying the usual summer activities since school let out May 26. But for more than a thousand K-7th grade students, the month of June was spent attending the PCSS Summer Learning Camp.

“I think the summer learning camp was a success,” said Deborah Robbins, who served as the summer principal at Cornerstone Elementary. “I think it was beneficial for all students. It provided them with opportunities for continued growth and knowledge retention during summer break.”

During SLC, students sharpened their reading and math skills while participating in STREAM activities along with making new friendships and having fun.

“I enjoyed seeing the growth, the learning and the fun that the students had in their core classes, intervention, STREAM, and P.E.,” said Diana Cook, a summer principal at Burks Elementary. “I feel the program went smoothly this year much in part to the planning and support from the Central Office and all of those who worked so tirelessly to plan and make it happen.”

This year’s SLC was a little different from those in the past. This year, SLC was required, as part of the new third-grade retention law, for some students who may not have been promoted to the fourth grade because of their TCAP score.

“This summer, we were able to see students make huge academic gains, especially with our third graders who may have fallen in the below or approaching categories on the TCAP assessment this past spring,” said Jere Whitson Elementary summer principal Kathy Koughan. “We also were able to work with a few students and their families to get other learning challenges resolved so they will have a successful start to the school year when it begins in August.”

Sites for SLC included Burks Elementary, which served students in Monterey; Cane Creek, which served Cane Creek, Park View and Prescott South Elementary students; Cornerstone, which served Cornerstone, Baxter Primary and Sycamore students; Jere Whitson, which served Jere Whitson, Algood, Capshaw and Northeast Elementary students; and, Prescott South Middle School, which served the middle school students from PSMS, Avery Trace, Algood and Upperman Middle.

“It was impressive to see faculty and staff come together from different schools and work together seamlessly,” said Angela Webb, the summer principal at Cane Creek. “As the children came together from different schools, it amazed me how quickly they became friends. I would hear them talking, see them interacting, and think they knew each other for a long time only to find out they had just met a few minutes ago. Students not only grew academically at SLC, but also developed social skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.”

Besides classroom instruction, students were treated to the Words on Wheels (WOW) Bus, Kona Ice, Pelican SnowBalls, water days and other fun activities during the four weeks they attended Monday through Thursday.

“When a student comes up to you and begs you to open camp on Fridays because they want to come really says something about meeting their needs,” said Cook. “I have loved watching the students gain confidence in their abilities not only in the areas of academics but also in the areas of athletics, peer relationships and self-confidence in their abilities.”

PCSS students will return to school Friday, July 28 for registration and a 10 a.m. dismissal. School officially starts Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Photo courtesy of the Putnam County School System.

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