A group of 6- and 7-year-old children sat at the feet of instructor Lisa Jones on Wednesday, some listening more than others as she read a book called “Feast for 10.”
The children were full of questions and comments and laughter. And after Jones finished reading, it was clear from all the hugs she received that the children didn’t want their session with her to end.
It was mid-morning, and the students were participating in the summer program at the Fort Wayne Urban League. About 50 children in kindergarten through grade 12 take part in the program each day.
The free program, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., aims to help kids keep their academic skills sharp over the summer. Students get a chance to read, work on projects and use the computer lab where they can test their skills, according to Fort Wayne Urban League programming director Jamie Garwood.
To work off extra energy, students walk around the neighborhood each day. And occasionally they take field trips. Already this summer they have visited the splash pads, Build-A-Bear and a farm.
“There’s an education focus, but we have to balance that with fun, too,” Garwood said.
About 350 kids a year go through the program, which becomes an after-school program in the fall. During the summer, students get breakfast, lunch and a snack. When school starts, they are provided with dinner and a snack.
Students in grades six through 12 participate in College Ready, a program that makes sure they are socially and academically prepared for college.
Younger students participate in activities to build literacy skills.
Malina Yisrael, a 6-year-old about to attend Weisser Park Elementary this year, said she thought the program was really fun.
“I learned to read!” she said, before clarifying that she wasn’t quite there yet. “We really like the reading groups. Those are fun.”
•Registration for the 2012-13 school year will be Friday and Aug. 6 at all 49 Fort Wayne Community Schools elementary, middle and high buildings. Parents can visit their child’s school from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday or from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 6. Students must register at the school they will attend, even if they attended that school last year. Parents should bring all necessary contact information, and those new to the district should bring vaccination records, birth certificates and proof of residency. Many of the forms parents will need to fill out are available at www.
org. Click the green back-to-school backpack and select Enrollment Forms. Parents may print them out and complete them at home and bring them to registration to save time on registration day. Those not able to register during the set registration times should contact the school their child will be attending to make other arrangements.
•The Fort Wayne Community Schools application for free and reduced-price meals and textbooks for students is now available online for the 2012-13 school year. Applications are accepted throughout the year but need to be returned by Aug. 10 to be processed in time for the first day of school on Aug. 20. Applications are available online at ftwayne.
app.com. Paper applications are also available at all FWCS schools, the Student Services Office at 1200 S. Clinton St. and Nutrition Services at 3211 W. Ludwig Road. Applications are available in English and Spanish.
•East Allen County Schools will have online registration from Thursday to Aug. 12 for currently enrolled students. If parents do not have computer and Internet access at home, the schools will have computer labs available during registration on several days. Elementary and secondary registration will take place from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 7 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8. Paul Harding Junior High will have registration from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 6. Southwick will have registration from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 7. Prince Chapman will have registration from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8. Translators will be available. Parents should bring Password or Activation Codes to register at school.
•IPFW Police Officer Andrew T. Cottrell received the American Red Cross Lifesaving Team Award for the Professional Responder for his actions in helping save the life of another person.
•Jefferson Elementary School in Warsaw Community Schools was a 2011-12 Healthy Hoosier School Award Winner.
•Chuck Surack has received an honorary IU degree.
•Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Arthur Friedel has received the IPFW Chancellor’s Medal
•Maclyn Parker and Karl LaPan were named IPFW Champions
•Megan Evans, Renee Frantz, Katherine Griebel, Austin Lewellen and Logan
McLay received the ProFed Credit Union Carroll R. Phillips Scholarship.
•Rachel Gilson and Michelle Johnson received the ProFed Credit Union Robert A. Weaver Scholarship
•Grace College’s Weber School at Fort Wayne invites families to attend an open house from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at 1027 W. Rudisill Blvd. To RSVP and for more information, call 469-4070 or email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.