Hands-on Summer Enrichment Programs Create Excitement about Learning in Eastern Suffolk Districts
The students in Eastern Suffolk BOCES Summer Enrichment Programs spent the summer designing video games, authoring books, exploring the ocean, and so much more. The Summer Enrichment Programs, held in the Bayport-Blue Point, Bayshore, Comsewogue, and Connetquot districts, featured STEAM-based activities, which incorporate the arts into the STEM model. Students participated in hands-on science and math classes, literacy courses and reading groups, and field trips to the Long Island Aquarium, Adventureland, Splish Splash, and virtual ESBOCES Arts-In-Education Programs.
Sessions ran in three, two- week sessions at each location from July 6 through August 13, 2021, and were available to all students entering Grades 1 through 9 in September. Students had half-day and full-day options, as well as an entire summer option.
Lauren Matarese, program director at the Bayport-Blue Point location, has seen firsthand how this program helps students avoid educational regression over the summer months. “The guided reading groups and writing support that we have incorporated are really helping the students practice their literacy skills,” she says. In addition to the enrichment activities, students spend time participating in team sports, arts and crafts, and games. “The students are still having summer fun, but with academics built in,” says Ms. Matarese.
The ESBOCES Model Schools Program assisted the summer staff with integrating new technology into the curriculum for the Summer Enrichment Programs. The Model Schools Program offers support to teachers in the area of technology integration in order to facilitate the implementation of the New York State Learning Standards.
The goal of Eastern Suffolk BOCES is to provide a multifaceted educational experience for all students.