Summer school brings smiles to those struggling to 'connect'

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 6:07 PM

A school house in July is a quiet, lonely place.  At Martha Lake Elementary, chairs sit stacked and books are put away until fall. Summer school is the last place most kids want to be.

But not these kids. "I love it here!" said 6 year old Lydia Nagash.

Summer is a time when a lot of students lose at least some of what they learned over the previous year. Keeping up can be especially hard for students without Internet access. In the Edmonds-Woodway district, 11 percent of the students do not have access to the Internet at home.

Hoping to keep kids from sliding deeper into the digital divide, the district is connecting kids during the summer months.

"I'm trying to practice all the first grade stuff so I can do a lot of stuff in first grade," boasted 6 year old Christian Lewis. "I’m going to be an expert!"

Nine year old Helena Negash, the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, honed her math skills on Tuesday. Her bright smile told the story beaming from her heart. "I feel very confident," said the 4th grader. "They turned the math into games, which makes it so much fun!"
 
The program provides tutors and para-educators to guide students through online courses they might not otherwise be able to access. It includes elementary math and reading education as well as SAT preparation.

Sixth grader Miriam Simon's single mom can't afford the Internet, so homework is a struggle. She doesn't have the luxury of online tutorials or hints to help with homework. This summer, however, she is catching up and heading into the fall feeling good.

"I feel a lot smarter," she said while working on math at Edmonds-Woodway High School. "I didn’t want to come but now I made some friends, I got to learn math and it's actually really fun."
 
The programs are held at Martha Lake Elementary, Cedar Valley Elementary, Alderwood Middle, Meadowdale High and Edmonds-Woodway High schools. They are free and open to all students in the Edmonds School District. For more information visit the Achievement4Edmonds website.

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