BREAUX BRIDGE — This summer in St. Martin Parish, students have a chance to make up for lost learning from the pandemic and the days missed from weather with a new learning program being offered.
Superintendent of St. Martin Parish schools Allen Blanchard says that the program is different from regular summer school, and it's more of a learning enrichment summer camp for children.
"It's not pass or fail and it's voluntary to come," he says. "We do academic stuff, as well as fun stuff like art class and physical education, and it's all blended throughout their day."
This is the first year that the parish has undertaken something like this, but he says it's important for the school system to create a program that will offer more growth to their students.
"There were a lot of things that kids usually would participate in that, for the last year and a half, they were not able to do," says Blanchard. "Getting together with other kids and doing structured activities, a lot of our families and children really look forward to getting back to that."
For Sabrina Scriber, a kindergarten teacher, this is her first time that she and a lot of her students are back inside the classroom since the pandemic began a year ago.
"I really do feel like they are going to be better prepared for first grade next year in person," says Scriber. "Socially, they have had this opportunity to come back and get in the swing of things and be ready for next year."
And while this is only the first summer for the program, most of the teachers that are involved hope to have the experience again next year.
"It's a great way to teach the kids because they're in small groups," says Tiffany Carnell Simon, a kindergarten teacher. "We are primary school teachers and that is the foundation of learning and I feel like this is really great way to smooth out the cracks of that foundation and fill in those gaps that they need before they go on to the next grade."
Blanchard says the program is offered this summer for grades kindergarten through twelfth, and they look forward to hopefully growing it into next summer.
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