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Summer program encourages learning and fun

Teacher Kelly Becker works with (from left to right) Amir Whitted, Sergio Flores and Alberth Solis-Fuentes.

Poughkeepsie City School District’s summer program is keeping students busy with fun activities in a more relaxed atmosphere. 

The program runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon ending July 29, mostly due to construction projects at both Krieger Elementary School and Poughkeepsie Middle School. Kindergarten through 2nd grade students study at PMS, while 3rd through 5th grade students are at Krieger. This year marked the first time kindergarten and 1st grade students could participate.

It was initially targeted towards students from kindergarten to 5th graders who needed an extra boost in their education, but was later open to all students, whose parents want them to avoid the dreaded “summer slide.”

“We really wanted to target those students who needed that extra boost because we had limited space,” Supervisor of Elementary Education Janet Bisti said. “The teachers are targeting those standards and skills that students really need in order to be successful in the next grade level.”

Students often work in pairs, enhancing their social skills which Bisti considers just as important as their core subjects.

“Those social skills are something that our students need,” Bisti said.

The 50 kindergarten through 2nd grade students in attendance are receiving English language arts and math lessons, as well as working on STEAM (Science, Technology, Electronics, Art and Math) activities. They will also be receiving a visit from the Poughkeepsie Public Library District Bookmobile to promote literacy. 

The schedule is not as intense as a regular school year allowing for students to have an hour of each subject with more one-on-one attention from teachers.

“They leave talking about the activities,” Early Learning Center Principal and program coordinator Nadine Dargan said. “It’s a lot more fun for them in the summertime.” Niya Allen putting together a math themed puzzle while teacher Leah Woerner works with Xavier Gonzalez.

Students receive both breakfast and a hot lunch – the latter not offered by many programs.

“They have a nice menu prepared for the children,” Dargan said. “That’s definitely a plus.”

Dargan’s students are happy to see their usual teachers making for a more familiar environment and the program continues to accept any student who wishes to attend.

“It was a nice transition for the kids to see familiar faces,” the principal said. “I’m very pleased with the program.”

Teacher Krista Shannon works with Catalina DeJesus while Tahaylia Doyle works on her math book.