Happy summer!! I hope each of your children had a successful and productive academic year. Here at The Delany Center for Educational Enrichment we are excited to begin our 44th Summer Literacy Program. The teachers and I have planned a challenging and enriching session that will be both informative and fun for the students. We have adopted a brain-based learning approach which employs various strategies to actively engage children in learning. It encourages students to make connections while enabling them to more easily retain what they are leaning.
This summer our students are engaged in age-appropriate thematic learning. Science is the overall theme for the second and third graders who are focusing on plants and butterflies. Fourth and fifth graders are traveling the globe exploring various cultures of the world. And, sixth, seventh and eight grade students are learning about their own backyards by studying the rich history of White Plains, which is celebrating its centennial. At the end of the summer session, each group will make a mixed-media presentation about what they have learned. Through song, dance, art and performance they will share their knowledge thus reinforcing all the connections they have made.
Naturally, we are encouraging the students to read, read, read and challenging them to make "alternative" book reports. We are aiming to rev up students' enthusiasm for reading while creating opportunities for them to practice comprehension strategies. Alternative book reports are a great way to meet the needs of different kinds of learners. The reports can range from the child pretending to be a talk show host interviewing the main character to creating a travel brochure for the setting of the story. The teachers and I are all looking forward to seeing the students tap into their creative sides as they showcase their talents.
Summer is a time to relax and enjoy. Don't forget there are plenty of fun things to do right here in Westchester that cost little or no money and provide children with wonderful learning experiences. Public libraries offer an array of programs for children of all ages. Check with your local library to find out more. Click here to see what's happening at White Plains Library. Each weekend the County sponsors a Cultural Heritage Celebration allowing you and your family to take a trip around the world without having to travel far from home. Don't forget the Historic Hudson Valley sites. Lyndhurst, one of America's finest Gothic Revival mansions, is offering a variety of programs (click here for details) as is Sunnyside, home of Washington Irving who is best known as the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (click here for a schedule). Our friends at Barnes & Noble in the White Plains City Center also have plenty of child-centered activities planned. Click here to learn more.
Enjoy your summer and remember - keep on reading!
Sr. St. John Delany, PhD