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Herriman Journal

Learning to play, playing to learn at free summer program

Jun 30, 2022 09:15PM ● By Jet Burnham

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Athlos Academy, located at 12309 S. Mustang Trail Way, is providing free summer activities for children ages 5 and up on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8-10 a.m. Any child can attend, not just those who attend the school. No registration is required, but an adult must sign children in and out.

Activities will continue through July 29, except on July 4 and 25. More information is available at www.athlosutah.org, (801) 438-4619 or [email protected]

Third grade teacher Carly Hooper said the summer activities keep kids connected with each other and gives them something to do.

“It gives them a little break from being at home and from being on video games,” she said. “Our goal is for them to have a friend and to be a little bit active.”

The activities also keep kids engaged in learning. Kids can spend the two hours using the Waterford program in the computer lab, which provides engaging literacy and math skills games that adjust to each child’s level. The games prepare preschoolers for school, and help older students avoid the “summer slide.” The program is also dual-language, which helps ELL students improve their English skills.

Ademaris Ramirez brings her son to play in the computer lab to prepare him for kindergarten. The computer games help him develop English language skills and get him used to a school environment, both of which she hopes will ease his transition into school this fall.

She said her 5-year-old loves playing on the computer.

“I like that he is playing and he’s also learning,” she said.

Younger students spend the whole session in the computer lab, occasionally taking a break to engage in physical activities. Kids aged ten and older can move to the gym at any time to play a volleyball game, work on their basketball skills or train with an athletic performance coach in the weight room.

The summer program is a continuation of two of the school’s character pillars: Prepared Mind and Healthy Body.

Athlos staff members facilitate the various activities. Katelyn Perkins, who will be working as a paraprofessional next year, is helping in the computer lab as a way to get to know the students. Hooper, who has taught at Athlos for three years, facilitates games in the gym with the older kids, but occasionally pops into the computer lab to say hi to her former students.

Athlos’ Executive Director Sam Gibbs loves to see this connection between kids and teachers. He said staying engaged in learning activities is important for kids, but so is staying connected with their peers and with their school.

“I just want the school to be a resource for the community,” Gibbs said.

Athlos provides many community resources, such as a community food pantry. This fall, Athlos will be offering low-cost childcare before and after school, with homework help and enrichment classes.

Several community groups use the school building during off-hours including two scout troops, a tumbling class and a youth theater program. A local church congregation holds their weekly Sunday meetings there, as well.

 

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