By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Summer academy offers classes

“The will be a good balance of continuing academic progress and fun,” said Erin Stephenson, a member of the board.

The summer academy takes its name from Archimedes of Syracuse, an early Greek mathematician, scientist and inventor who lived two centuries before Christ. He is credited with numerous advances in physics and math.

Stephenson said her group chose the name to send the message that summer school can be beneficial for everyone.

“Students can continue learning and build on what they have,” she said. “It will be a fun, interactive, dynamic program for all ability levels.”

She’s already signed up her son, who is finishing kindergarten. In fact, it was her son who inspired her to start the program in the first place.

“It broke my heart to think of him going all summer without continuing the reading, writing and math he’s doing in kindergarten,” she said. “He’s just learned to read, and I wanted him to be able to continue building on that.”

In addition, she said, school standards have increased so much, even for the youngest grades, that children need to focus on their skills year-round.

Stephenson said she looked for a summer program for him and found plenty of fun and enriching things for children to do, but nothing focused on academics. So she contacted friends who are current and retired teachers, and they put together the Archimedes Summer Academy for the community.

Kindergarten Kick-Start will focus on preparing students who are entering school for the first time. Students will learn the basics of reading, writing and math through themed developmentally appropriate learning units, Stephenson said.

First Grade Bridge will continue where kindergarten left off, she said. The focus will be on additional reading, writing and math using theme lessons.

Classes will be limited to 20 students entering kindergarten and 20 who are headed to first grade. Tiffany Sauter, a local kindergarten teacher, will lead both classes.

If more children sign up, the academy will hire another teacher, Stephenson said. The board also is looking for young adult interns to help with the program.

There will be two four-week sessions, starting July 1 and July 29. Classes will meet from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays in the Head Start’s Michael Eichman Center downtown.

Tuition is $130 per four-week session.

A few scholarships are available, Stephenson said, and the board hopes to offer more next year. “We want this to be available to everybody despite income levels,” she said.

June 10 is the registration deadline. For more information and registration forms, visit the website,

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