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Beecher Happenings: Word of Appreciation and Looking Ahead to Summer Programs

The Woodbridge School District/Beecher Road School once again thanks the residents of Woodbridge for their support in the past as well as during the recent 2019-20 budget process.  With a growing enrollment and an increase in the number of students with mandated needs, we appreciate the way in which the town worked with us.  Thank you!

If you are looking for a wonderful summer experience for your children, then you need look no further than Beecher Road School in Woodbridge, Connecticut.  Beecher offers something for every child.  The 2019 Summer Enrichment Program invites K-6 residents, non-residents and recent elementary school graduates to join us for any combination of one- and two- week courses from June 24th through July 26th, 2019.

A staple in the community for over 25 years, each Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) class is built around a central theme and is facilitated by highly skilled staff.  This summer, there are over 60 programs – in cooking, baking, two- and three- dimensional arts, sports, science, crafts, theater, language arts and technology, among others – to challenge and stimulate your children.  All classes are taught on the grounds of Beecher Road School in an environment that is well supervised and safe.

One series of SEP programs is designed to transition incoming kindergarten students to the school environment in a stress free and fun way.  Children will learn to work independently and cooperatively in language arts, math, science, arts and crafts, games and songs.  Each week a new theme, such as insects or colors, is explored, so the class may be taken multiple times.  These classes will be of value even if your child will not be attending Beecher Road School in the fall.

Every summer, we mount two plays during SEP.  This summer, “Tikki Tikki Tembo” and “The Little Red Hen” will be produced.  Children learn the songs and dances, and they create the costumes and sets for each production.  On the last day of each class, family and friends are invited to a gala performance.

A series of drawing classes as well as studio classes allow students to learn to draw, improve their skill in the visual arts, work with mixed media or sculpt with a variety of materials.  In another class, students will design and build dwellings for magical creatures from natural and recycled materials.

Science and nature classes, general in nature for younger students and more specific for older students, are also highly popular.  In one class students will investigate and make “goo-ey” things, such as slime, Oobleck and Silly Putty.  In another, students will learn about the plant life cycle while raising their own annuals, perennials, succulents, vegetables and herbs.  The goal is for budding gardeners to start their own gardens at home, complete with plants as well as “garden enhancements.”  And, in still another, children will learn how exciting science can be as they make lava lamps, ice cream and volcanoes in jars.  A new offering explores the natural land and water ecosystems in the region of Southern Connecticut.  Through nature walks, collecting samples, building models and investigations, children will find out about the world outside our doors as well as our impact on it.

Sport is always a popular pursuit for children during the summer.  At SEP, children have the opportunity to explore one sport in depth, such as Soccer, Golf, or Basketball, with a skilled coach.  The focus in these classes is on skill development, team play and, of course, fun.  Your children may also participate in “World of Sports, Floor Hockey Plus, or Cooperatives Plus – more general in terms of sport focus, but still using activity and play to enhance skill and teamwork.

New this summer is a series of classes connected to children’s contemporary literature.  “Becoming An Author” is designed to introduce children to writing and illustrating realistic fiction, fairy tales, action/adventure and mystery.  “The World of Percy Jackson” will explore the stories and legends of Greek mythology/history.  Participating in a series of fun activities connected to “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” will be on tap in Week #4 of SEP and the Summer ends with “Dive into Poetry,” a class to help children explore the sound, rhythm and form of poetry as well as improve their ability to express thoughts and feelings on paper.

If your child likes to create with food, there are eight classes this summer to choose from.  A series of three classes is modeled on the popular television program “Cup Cake Wars.”  Three other classes allow students to become entrepreneurs, designing their own lemonade stand or pastry shop.  In “Restaurant Week,” students design a restaurant, develop the menu, and then prepare the food for patrons to taste.  In “Everything Italian,” a new addition last summer, groups of students will make a full Italian meal from scratch consisting of pasta, sauce, salad, bread and dessert.  By Friday, groups will join in a gustatory celebration, sampling the creations of the other groups.

Technology is a growing interest for children.  Classes during the summer, such as “Lego Robotics,” “Summer Coding,” “Introduction to 3D Printing” and “Digital Authors” will challenge your children to think both logically and creatively.  However, if you wish your child to “unplug,” “Fantastic Beasts, Lego Juniors, Heroes and Villains, Happy Birthday America, Lego Builders, The Royals, Slumber Party Fun, Thar’ be Pirates and “Stay”cation are sure to please.

Hand and machine crafting are gaining in popularity and SEP has a variety of offerings to challenge your child’s creativity this summer.  “Hand Sewing, Embroidery and More” begins the season, as children learn to create and sew functional and decorative pieces for wearing, accessorizing or hanging on walls.  Older children will be introduced to “Sewing Machine Basics” and the fun continues with designing and creating in “Fashion Reinvented.”  In this class, budding fashion designers will learn how to repurpose small, stained, and/or out of fashion pieces from their wardrobes (or from their parents) into unique creations.

SEP is fortunate to offer two more new classes for older participants.  The first is “Elementary Guitar,” where students will learn essential techniques to play songs and continue their progress after the class is over.  Hands on and individualized guidance will be provided in this small class environment.  Finally, children will be able to dive into the Hispanic Culture with their favorite Spanish teachers from Beecher Road School.  In “Passport to the Hispanic World” activities will include authentic games, music, art, cooking and more.  This class takes Spanish language learning beyond the classroom, without ever leaving the school!

Classes meet from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Monday through Friday.  In addition to exploring areas of interest, children will have snack and recess time outside as weather permits, for socializing, playing and making new friends.  If parents seek full day coverage for their children, the Extended Day Summer Program wraps around SEP, with the two programs providing supervised activities at BRS from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and noon. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

To access these programs, please go to the Woodbridge School District website at www.woodbridge.k12.ct.us, then follow the parent links to summer programs.  If you have further questions, please contact SEP Director Sandra Simowitz at sep@woodbridgeps.org.  We look forward to meeting you this summer!

By Robert F. Gilbert, Superintendent, Woodbridge School District

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