Enquirer Photo/Lauren Jackson Lynleigh Welch plays the drum in music class during summer academy at Crestline Elementary.

Hartselle City Schools host summer academies

 

Summer can be a time for swimming and outdoor activities, but for some local children, it is a time to look to the stars and go on safari. F.E. Burleson and Crestline elementary schools hosted summer academy in partnership with Athens State University last week, and they will continue through next week.

The academies allow education students from Athens State University to shadow teachers and eventually teach their own lessons at the camp. The model provides students with summer learning and interns with valuable work experience they can take to their future classrooms.

Dena Mayfield is the site manager at the F.E. Burleson summer academy. She said the academy is a great opportunity for both Hartselle City Schools and Athens State University. “Hartselle City Schools have collaborated with Athens State University to provide an opportunity for each of our students,” Mayfield said. “Athens State interns work closely with certified teachers to strengthen their teaching abilities, and it is just a huge benefit to our kids to have summer learning.”

At F.E. Burleson, a space theme featured space-centered lessons and visits to the planetarium. Crestline hosted its first summer academy this year and went with an African safari theme. The program included guest speakers as well as games and music that were African-themed.

Dr. Tina Sloan, director of interns at Athens State University, said the interns at both sites were able to gain valuable teaching experience and were observed as part of their class requirements. Sloan said she was pleased with the knowledge her students were able to gain. “They are getting real-world experience, and you cannot replace that,” Sloan said. “In the university classroom, they are hearing theories about teaching, and here they come into real situations.”

Deanne Riddle is the site manager at Crestline, and she said she was excited about the first Crestline summer academy. The students, she explained, benefit from the lessons and from observing the interns learning. “The main purpose of school is to prepare kids for life. In life, there is training that goes into any job, and the kids are able to see that first hand,” Riddle said. “The students are able to see their regular teachers pouring into future teachers.”

The academies also help prevent summer brain drain. “In the summer kids have that lull when they might regress,” said Mayfield. “We are hoping this might help with that by learning in a fun environment.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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