By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Pupils in District 80 Schools are brushing up on core curriculum early this summer during a four-week summer school program.
The first day of classes began Tuesday at J.L. Buford School.
"We have kids who need help in the class room all the way through the gifted program. We have reading, math and science daily, and music every other day," explained Summer School Director Susan Staples, a first-year director.
"We do have students in the gifted program here. They will be working on Algebra and science, and during reading time they can read their own book or help the pre-K kids learning their letters and numbers," Staples said. Summer school is for pupils pre-K through seventh grade.
Breakfast and lunch are provided, and students get a 15-minute break daily for play time/exercise.
District 80 had a capacity 200 pupils sign up for summer school on a first-come, first-served basis.
The summer school staff includes eight teachers, six support staff, 10 foster grandparents, three AmeriCorps volunteers from Rend Lake College and four volunteers. All the teachers and aides are from District 80 Schools.
On Fridays, guest speakers from the Daughters of the American Revolution will be making presentations.
"This is a great community outreach," Staples said.
Although school has been out for only a week, Staples said parents and children alike seem to be prepared for the short brush up sessions.
"I had a lot of phone calls last week from people saying, 'My kid is ready to come back to school.' I think they like the routine and it gives them something to do," Staples said. "It's just a four week program so the teachers are okay with just 20 days."