Local children learn in summer enrichment programs


By Kaitlin Fleming

Staff Correspondent

As summer break is swiftly ending and the school year is just about to begin, several enrichment programs are coming to an end in Etowah County. 

Many of the programs were free to the students. The programs operated off donations earlier in the year. The main goal of these summer programs is to encourage students in their schoolwork. 

Dr. Gerti Lowe ran a summer program this year just like the past 14 years. Her program had 87 students ranging from kindergarten to high school students. Her program lasted for six weeks. 

According to Marcia Kendrick, Dr. Lowe’s assistant, the specific goal for the program was to increase the students reading and math skills as well as social behavior. 

“We wanted the kids to learn the importance of a positive attitude,” said Kendrick. “We want our kids to stay in school and stay out of trouble.”

During the program, the students had an opportunity to travel to Alabama A&M, Drake Technical College and a Birmingham Barons game. On Thursdays, the group traveled to the Gadsden Public Library for the Story Time sessions. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays the group focused on academic studies and activities. 

During the program, Quality of Life had a staff member address the group on personal hygiene. They separated the boys and the girls and each group learned about the changes in their bodies.

Dr. Lowe was not the only one who ran a program this summer. Rev. Preston Nix of Attalla also ran a free summer enrichment program with about 30 students in attendance. Rev. Nix’s program focused on teaching students about their futures in the workforce. This program’s goal was to teach students important interviewing and resume writing skills. They did several mock interviews and each student typed up their resumes. Along with interviewing and resume writing skills, the students were taught about music, home economics and different school classes.

One of Rev. Nix’s staff members said that the older students work a part-time job then attend the program.  

During Rev. Nix’s program, the students had the opportunity to visit the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.  

“The children had great time learning about the different things at the Space and Rocket Center,” said Rev. Nix. 

Rev. Nix said the program would have a banquet later on in August. Judge Billy Ogletree will be speaking to the students at the banquet. This is the 19th year they have had a program and Rev. Nix hopes to offer the program next summer.

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