Jan 22 2011

Online Registration Opens for Piedmont’s Summer Enrichment Programs

Families all around Piedmont are sorting out summer plans as camp brochures land in mailboxes. For parents who face a confusing array of summertime options for their kids, the K–12 Summer Enrichment Program organized by the Associated Parents Clubs of Piedmont (APCP) offers a high-quality, low-stress alternative.

Parents might think of the program as “summer school,” since classes are held at Havens Elementary and Piedmont Middle School, but referring to it as “school” belies the fun, creative and elective nature of the course offerings, which are taught by instructors in the Piedmont school district.

The half-day program will run from 9 a.m. to noon for two two-week sessions: June 20 – July 1 and July 5 – July 15. Registration is now open, and schools will send a brochure describing classes home with students soon. Families can register online and find out more at the APCP Summer Enrichment 2011 website.

PMS sixth-grade teacher Ted Scherman oversees the program and calls it a win-win for students and teachers. “Students have a feeling of comfort and familiarity with the site, with the staff and with other students. They can walk or bike to Havens or PMS, take fun classes, see old friends and make new friends,” he says. “School has a much more relaxed feel during the summer enrichment classes, which allows students and staff to interact in a more natural manner and get to know each other better.”

Students and teachers also benefit because “teachers have the opportunity to teach subjects that they really love.” For example, Scherman says, PMS librarian Jennifer Gulassa has a passion for art and cooking, and “students who take her art workshop or cooking class will appreciate just how talented she is.”

Students entering Grades 2 – 8 choose two classes each session, one that starts daily at 9 a.m. and the other at 10:40. Classes for Grades 2 – 5, held at Havens, include art, photography, Asian cooking, “the art of math,” claymation, ceramics, computers, film-making, sewing, sports, writing, and more.

Classes for Grades 6 – 8, held at Piedmont Middle School, include a variety of arts, sports, computers and multimedia, engineering, film, acting, Shakespeare, writing, math, a babysitting certification class, and “Welcome to Middle School” just for entering sixth-graders. The program also offers high school students a computer class. (High school remediation courses are offered through the district, not APCP; contact Karen Gnusti at kgnusti@piedmont.k12.ca.us for more information.)

Kids entering Kindergarten enroll in the program’s “Kindergarten Camp,” which features literacy-building games and other engaging activities. First-graders-to-be attend “Adventures in First Grade,” which has an insect theme in Session 1 and an ocean theme for Session 2.

Families who need all-day supervision for their children can coordinate afternoon care through Schoolmates and the Recreation Department. The cost for APCP’s summer enrichment is $280 per session for Grades K – 5 and $300 for Grades 6 – 12.

Many Piedmont parents enroll their children in the APCP summer program every year due to its positive reputation and convenience. “I like how it’s close by and a half-day program, so we can have an unstructured, summery afternoon. Plus, the teachers make my kids so excited about the subject matter,” says Piedmont mom Sarah Smith. “My son took the program’s book-making class after his second-grade year, and I still think the books he wrote and illustrated in that two-week class are some of his best examples of writing and art ever.”

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