Medina school district starts new summer enrichment program

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 April 2017 at 9:30 am

16 outside organizations to lead students in grades 1-7

MEDINA – This summer choreographers, historical re-enactors, museum leaders and other experts will lead week-long educational programs for Medina students.

The new program will connect students with many important community and cultural organizations, while also reinforcing academics in the areas of the arts, literature, history, athletics, physical education and STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/Mathematics), said Dr. Denise Stappenbeck, the school district’s director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.

The district wants to work with 16 organizations in the program. Medina already has commitments from the Niagara Falls Aquarium, Old Fort Niagara, Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, the Matthew Clark Academy (choreographer), Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County, Buffalo Museum of Science, Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, Into the Enigma in Medina, and Camp Kenan in Barker.

“It’s all about getting the kids to enjoy education,” said Dan Doctor, the district’s director of community outreach.

Each organization is committing to at least a week of programming for students in either grades 1 through 3, or 4 to 7. The program will run July 10-August 3 at Oak Orchard Elementary School. The organizations are bringing their programs to Medina.

The district is paying the organizations $1,000 for their work, which includes 1.5 hours of instruction for four days each week.

Doctor said about 15 to 20 students will be in each group. Students and their families won’t have to pay a fee to enroll in a program.

Medina still is reviewing five other proposals from outside organizations. He said the district is very enthusiastic about the new program, which takes education beyond textbooks.

For example, with Fort Niagara, re-enactors and other experts will discuss the history of battles, wearing uniforms and bringing in artifacts from the wars.

Many of the organizations that will be in Medina have outreach programs where their trained staff bring part of a museum collection to students.

“The students are going to get academics and the enrichment piece,” Doctor said.

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