This year’s popular Summer Learning Program attracted some 110 participants, according to program coordinator administrator Our Lady of Lourdes Elliot Lake Vice-Principal and Grade 8 teacher Nadia Zanatta. This is the second year the program has been run online and ending this week it brought in 24 students from Elliot Lake and Serpent River First Nation students.
The program is sponsored by the Huron Superior Catholic District School Board. This year’s program is ending at the end of this week having run from July 5.
The Summer Learning Program started on July 5 running for 15 days until its end on July 23 and focused on numeracy and literacy focus, addressing gaps in student learning, providing a learning boost for students, reviewing concepts to gain improvement in learning. It is delivered virtually through Google Classroom and Meet to 110 students in the program with 24 students and staff participating from Elliot Lake, Cutler, and Blind River.
It also included two hours of daily synchronous instruction and one hour of daily asynchronous instruction, live programming from Science North as well as Entomica and The Healing Loft in Sault Ste. Marie for students and staff throughout the school board's geographic jurisdiction: Hornepayne, Chapleau, Wawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Blind River, Elliot Lake, and Espanola.
The program itinerary included a schedule of various recreational activities that were offered for students and families to participate in each week outside of the daily instructional periods.
These activities were free opportunities for students to apply their learning and gain new experiences. Activities included: hip hop dance, illusion, cookie decorating, imagination building, partner yoga, fitness, tableau, and trivia.
It also included was a Program Pizza Party on July 11 through July 17 with students and staff picking up pizza kits and pizzas from their local communities, including George's Restaurant and JRs Pizza in Elliot Lake and Blind River for students and staff.
A DIY Donut Decorating contest was held on Wednesday July 2 in which students and staff visited their local Tim Hortons to pick up their DIY Donut Decorating Kit.
“These initiatives are an opportunity to build community within our virtual environment. They are opportunities to connect the curriculum and classroom to the real world and this is so important for student learning. They also provide opportunities for parent engagement. Students are excited to share their creations and stories with their peers,” said Zanatta. “Although the delivery is virtual, there are still many opportunities that can be provided to the students.It just takes some innovative thinking. Being in a class with students from across the Board is also an amazing experience to learn about each other.”
Members of the SLP participated in a live, virtual Liturgy where students and staff took on leadership roles to read and present parts of the service. It was a beautiful way to celebrate as a Catholic community.
Participants also received a backpack filled with school supplies and materials to use during the program.
Items included: a t-shirt, white board, pencils, crayons, markers, pencil crayons, notebook, highlighter, sharpener, playing cards, modelling clay, read alouds, headphones, sidewalk chalk, an eye pillow, and an essential oil roller. The Grade 7/8 students also received a scientific calculator and math set to prepare them for high school.