Gateway Preparatory Academy offers free summer programming, enrichment activities

Students in the Gateway Preparatory Academy's summer program will participate in a variety of activities, from academics to papier mache art, Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of David Lawrence, Cedar City News / St. George News

CEDAR CITY — As school draws to a close, kids may be singing the praises, but for working parents, summer presents unique challenges. That’s why Gateway Preparatory Academy in Enoch is pleased to be offering their second year of free summer programming, which will include specific focus on academic subjects, artistic pursuits, athletics and weekly enrichment activities.

David Lawrence, community liaison for the program, said the free program is not restricted to Gateway students or even Iron County students.

“They can come in from anywhere, as long they can get here,” Lawrence said. “We’ll take any kid from K through eighth grade.”

Gateway is able to offer this programming to the public through a variety of grants, Lawrence said. The program runs five days a week for two separate sessions: from June 6 to July 1 and July 11 to July 29. Last year, approximately 200 children attended one or both of the sessions.

Every other Friday, students will participate in enrichment activities such as field trips, Bryce Canyon National Park, date not specified | Photo courtesy of David Lawrence, Cedar City News / St. George News

Because of the nature of summer vacation, Lawrence said, the program isn’t structured so that kids have to be there every day to receive group instruction but rather, it is individualized.

“The kids won’t all be there at the same time,” he said. “Some will be there for the first month and some for the second month. Some will take off for a vacation in the middle of it and then come back. … We help the individual at their own rate because of that.”

The program starts between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. each day. Depending on their age, kids will go to a variety of classes, from math and science to language arts or arts and crafts. Instructors and aides include teachers from both Gateway and other schools in the district, students from Southern Utah University and volunteers from the community.

For a full list of classes, descriptions and schedule, click here.

Besides the regular academic subjects, the program includes options for kids to participate in music, drama and sports such as soccer, baseball or kickball. Each day also includes a walking or running club challenge to start and end the day. Every other Friday will include enrichment activities for all of the kids, including field trips, hikes, water activities and special guest speakers.

Lawrence said that as the science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM — teacher for Gateway, his focus for guest speakers last year included people who specialized in those areas. This included speakers on topics ranging from computer graphic design to quality assurance to drill mining.

All of the speakers Lawrence mentioned were parents in the community. He said that parents are encouraged to come in and talk to the kids about what they do, but they need to contact him first and remember that they will be speaking to younger children.

“Whenever someone wants to be a guest speaker, I want to meet them first and gauge how they talk to kids,” Lawrence said. “Just because they have a degree doesn’t mean they are going to talk to kids or relate to them very well.”

In addition to offering programs to the kids, Lawrence said he wants to make sure parents know they provide resources for parents as well. He said:

We have a parent resource room that they can come and visit. We have things that they can take home for their kids — movies, books, tutoring aids. And resources for where they can go in the community for help, be it therapeutic, medical, legal and so on. … And if they have questions, they can come in any time. If we’re not there, we are available on the phone and are willing to come in and meet with parents at hours that suit their needs.

While the program is free to the public, Lawrence said parents still need to register their children by filling out a short enrollment form, which includes emergency contact numbers. For the enrollment form, click here.

For more information, email Rob Lee at [email protected], David Lawrence at [email protected] or Marci Moody at [email protected].

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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