School district to begin summer gifted program

By Rita Frankenberry

The Daily Advance

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Calling all gifted learners.

Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools is preparing to kick off the fourth year of its weeklong summer enrichment academy on July 29 and is still taking a few applications.

Although most summer enrichment programs are typically aimed at students who need a little extra help with subjects like reading or math, the district’s summer enrichment program is geared toward gifted learners.

“I don’t know of anyone that does it specifically for the gifted,” said Joanne Sanders, coordinator of the school district’s Academically or Intelligently Gifted program.

Sanders began looking into academically-accelerated summer programming after parents voiced their concerns that there wasn’t enough offered to gifted learners.

“It’s geared for a higher-level thinking,” Sanders said, referring to the summer enrichment academy which will teach current third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students about concepts like rocketry, technology and engineering.

Specifically, this summer, there are five programs students can choose from. They include a science and math program; technology and rocketry program; engineering and construction; and two art programs.

Students will construct individual projects in each class — for example participants in the technology and rocketry program will build and launch rockets and learners in the engineering and construction program will build a bridge out of straws designed to hold a certain weight. At the end of the week, students will then present their projects on the last day of the program.

“It’s very much hands-on,” Sanders said. “It’s to extend and enrich the curriculum.”

Currently, about 78 students are signed up for the summer enrichment academy, which will be offered at River Road Middle School from 8 a.m. to noon. The program’s limit is 100 students and Sanders will be accepting applications until the end of this week.

Any students interested in applying for the free weeklong program can pick up an application at the school district’s central office located at 1200 S. Halstead Blvd., Elizabeth City.