Last Saturday, afterschool students from Hamilton Wings’ SCORE! in Elgin premiered an original opera created and produced entirely by its 10- to 13-year-old students. To create the opera students met twice a month to create the story line, music, the words and choreography. Entertainment professionals mentored the students through each creative step. “Their individual growth experiences is the culminating experience of this entire program; the opera just happens to be a byproduct,” Deanna Cates, director of operations and programs for Hamilton Wings and vocal director and pianist for the production, told the Daily Herald. “With the cutbacks in school, we want to make sure that is sustained; it is part of making a well-rounded and whole child.”
Youth in the Western Maine Kids Association summer fun camp are gardening, learning how to cook healthy meals, woodworking and painting in the Lewiston four-week summer program. Students are planting seeds in the school garden and are hoping to reap the benefits this fall. Students are planting pumpkins that Dirigo Middle School afterschool students will carve in the fall and creating compost bins that the afterschool program will use throughout the year.
A group of afterschool students in the Bronx have successfully petitioned New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s administration to curb speeding and establish a “slow zone” in their Mount Eden neighborhood, the Daily News reports. The Bronx Helpers, a group of students in an afterschool program run by New Settlement Apartments, have been reaching out to city officials since 2009. The group made pedestrian safety their cause after a handful of accidents on a local route that encompasses two schools and multiple subway stops.
About 25 percent of Snow Hill Middle School’s (SHMS) student population are attending this year’s summer program and learning about aviation by building model airplanes, going on field trips to the Ocean City Airport and reading about the subject. Mary Anne Cooper, the SHMS extended day administrator, told the Daily Times that the program has “been an incredible experience for children. They can continue to learn past the school day and into the summer.” This the final year the SHMS summer academy will be funded through a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. Cooper said the school is seeking another grant to continue the program.