Summer program explores sealife, history

The Barnwell District 19 21st Century Community Learning Center sponsored a two-week summer enrichment program for students in grades 5-11 from June 17 to 27.
"The summer program was a tremendous success," quoted director Sybrenda J. Holiday.
Students began their day by being transported by buses to the Blackville-Hilda Jr. High School at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast. This was followed by Math and Language Arts enrichment activities, Technology and Multimedia; and Sports activities, which included tennis, soccer, golf, basketball and power walking. Students were also provided a free healthy, nutritious lunch.
Each day after lunch there was a 30 minute period when everyone, even the faculty and staff, read a book of their choice. The fun thing about this, says some of the students, they were allowed to read outside or anywhere that the teacher chose for that day.
The afternoon activities were geared towards the Arts and Physical fitness. From 1 to 3 p.m., on a rotated schedule, students enjoyed Zumba with Tarana Martin, a former student of BHHS and a certified Zumba Instructor at the YWCA in Aiken, art, music and gaming. The program also included the "free" services of the Aiken County Youth Empowerment Group who provided the students with hands-on information about peer pressure and how to use social media in the right way.
Two of the highlights of the program were the educational fieldtrips to the S.C. Aquarium in Charleston and the S.C. State Museum in Columbia. Prior to our fieldtrips all teachers used the websites of the aquarium and the museum to build and integrate meaningful lessons for the students so that when they arrived they were very knowledgeable and well informed of what to expect.
While at the aquarium on June 20, the students were privileged to go behind the scenes and visit the "Sea Turtle" Hospital. This is where sick turtles are brought to be nurtured back to their normal health and then released back into their natural habitat. The students were in awe as they toured the hospital and saw the recovering sea turtles. While at the museum on June 26, students were among the first in South Carolina to tour the world renowned "King Tut" exhibit. The students were able to see all of the replicas unearthed from the tomb that appeared to be untouched! The student's behavior was "impeccable" as quoted by one the museum employees.
Special thanks to the following persons for giving of themselves to help in the program for the summer and making it a success: Barbara Glover (Math), Doris Sanders (ELA), Jeremy Sanders (Physcial Fitness/Gaming), Annette Felder (Technology/Multimedia), Lydia Grayson (Director's Assistant), Tarana Martin (Zumba), Allison Shanahan (Art), Christi Youngblood (Music), Jack Johnson (Food Services/Golf Program), Carol Bracey (Food Services), Wendy Widener (Food Services) and Kandace Cave (Aiken Youth Empowerment).