Gary Community School Corp. hosts Summer Enrichment Program for elementary students

All this activity was taking place at Daniel Hale Williams Elementary School as part of a Gary Community School Corp. summer enrichment program.

This is the first year in many years the district has been able to offer a summer enrichment program for elementary children, thanks to funding from the federal government. Students are enrolled in the four-week program, held 8 a.m. to noon Mondays through Thursdays. It concludes Aug. 3.

 Williams Principal Sharmayne McKinley and Gary school administrator Dwight Pointer oversee the program.

There are two four-week sessions. The first, focused strictly on academics, is offered every summer and open to K-12 students. Third-graders across the city who did not pass the state-mandated IREAD exam were required to attend; other students enrolled in that session focused on other academic areas.

“Once that session ended, the four-week enrichment program began here at Williams  .

“We’re offering a variety of classes for kids including computer coding, art, music and learning about various instruments, language immersion where students can learn conversational French or Spanish, and a class called awesome authors where children will write, illustrate and publish their own books.”

Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said the summer enrichment program allows students from kindergarten to grade six to explore and enjoy learning at the same time.

“These are not the ‘traditional’ summer school courses offered, but they are courses that will introduce our students to opportunities that will put them on a career path early in their educational process,” Pruitt said.

“Ultimately, our goal is to improve learning and academic achievement, and in so doing, we focus on the whole child.”

Added Gary school board President Rosie Washington, “These students have had the opportunity to be a part of interactive activities such as coding, field trips and general areas of learning. This enrichment program has been a source of learning and safety for the summer.”


Carman McCollum