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A Busy Summer At APW Central School District

Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District stayed busy throughout the summer with a brand new Summer Enrichment program, an Extended School Year program and a High School Helpers program.

Emily Holmes braves touching a sand boa snake during a presentation from the Rosamond Gifford “Zoo to You” program at APW’s ESY program.
Emily Holmes braves touching a sand boa snake during a presentation from the Rosamond Gifford “Zoo to You” program at APW’s ESY program.

This is the district’s first year offering a Summer Enrichment program, and the school had 27 participating students according to Assistant Principal Heather Costello.

The four-week program started in July and was free and open to any student that will be entering first grade up to sixth grade.

Garreth Perkins, Education Coordinator for the Rosamond Gifford “Zoo to You” program, allows students in the APW ESY program to greet a friendly guinea pig from the zoo named, Curly.
Garreth Perkins, Education Coordinator for the Rosamond Gifford “Zoo to You” program, allows students in the APW ESY program to greet a friendly guinea pig from the zoo named, Curly.

The goal was to provide learning opportunities that students may not have time for during the school year.

This summer started off with a band enrichment opportunity and a nutrition enrichment opportunity. The band enrichment focused on expanding instrumental skills while the nutrition enrichment included topics such as food groups and the importance of physical education.

Costello said she would love to see the program grow next year.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our kids,” said Costello. “I would love to see an expansion to the high school in the future as well as additional programs like art and cooking enrichment.”

The ESY program is offered to special education students in grades kindergarten through 12 and allows for additional time to work on curriculum, social skills, life skills and other objectives identified in a student’s individual education plan.

Connor Crorbett feels the rough skin of a Madagascar hissing cockroach.
Connor Crorbett feels the rough skin of a Madagascar hissing cockroach.

Students must meet the criteria provided by the New York State Education Department to participate in the eight-week program.

Forty-two students took part in the exciting ESY program this year, which included a theme every week that culminated with a special activity every Friday. A carnival, a science magician and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s “Zoo to You” program were just some of the special features over the summer.

Third grader Cal Seckner said he greatly enjoyed ESY and would definitely do it again. He especially enjoyed the “Zoo to You” presentation, which included a Madagascar hissing cockroach, a sand boa snake and a friendly guinea pig that each student had the opportunity to touch.

Students in the High School Helpers program stand with the students they mentored over the summer. Back row: Evan Payne, Melinda Cronk, Jasmine Warren and Cal Seckner. Front row: Isaac LaCelle, Connor Crorbett and Emily Holmes.
Students in the High School Helpers program stand with the students they mentored over the summer. Back row: Evan Payne, Melinda Cronk, Jasmine Warren and Cal Seckner. Front row: Isaac LaCelle, Connor Crorbett and Emily Holmes.

The High School Helpers program began about five years ago and provides students 16-21 the opportunity to complete Oswego County Youth works career training interviews. The youth are then placed with local business during the summer and earn $8 an hour for their work.

In addition to enhancing their occupation skills, weekly time sheets and performance evaluations were also a part of senior Melinda Cronk’s summer.

Part of her assignment involved helping the younger students in the Summer Enrichment and ESY programs.

“My favorite part was getting to work with the little kids,” said Cronk, whose future aspiration is to become a teacher. This was Cronk’s second year in the High School Helpers program.

The Summer Enrichment and ESY programs both included free breakfast and lunch as well as free transportation.