The Showcase Magazine - Salutes

By Lauren Holstein

The summer slide can be a parent's worst nightmare following their child’s academic year. The Warren Township Summer Fun Program is here to take these concerns away! The program offers academic support and enrichment courses for children attending kindergarten through eighth grade. The five-week program runs from June 25th to July 26th. With such a wide variety of class options, your child will wish there were more than four sessions to attend each day.

The Warren Township Summer Fun Program's academic classes are free of charge for Warren Township students who have been identified by their teacher as needing academic support. Students who have been identified as needing to attend the program for academic support may also sign up for enrichment courses. “They review the curriculum from their current grade level while preparing for the upcoming school year,” says Meryl Lettire, Summer Fun Principal. Lettire has also been an art teacher in the Warren Township School District for over twenty years.

What the Summer Fun program is most known for is its enrichment courses, which are available to Warren residents and out-of-district students for a fee. “We offer all types of fun classes including sports, art, STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art & mathematics), culinary, theater, music, dance, gymnastics, and more,” explains Lettire. “Over 70% of students that attend come just for our enrichment!” New exciting courses are added each summer. One new course, called ‘A Star is Born,’ will involve the students performing live on Fridays. Another is called ‘The Art of Nature’ where children can build fairy gardens, design bird feeders, and create sun catchers.

“Our program has grown tremendously,” explains Lettire. “This is my 14th year running the program. One thing I changed is better scheduling options so, parents may sign up their children for one, two, three, four or all five weeks. Students may also sign up for as many as four different classes.” The program now allows for students to pre-pay and later switch, extend or add more classes or entire weeks to their schedule.

Another one of Lettire’s additions was a program called Teen Adventures, designed for Middle School students. In Teen Adventures attendees get to socialize while learning new skills and training to be future volunteers and aides for the program. Teens attend two periods of training and two periods of student selected enrichment classes. Many teens volunteer the following summer and then go on to be hired as paid employees the summer after that.

For 2019, the Warren Township Summer Program will be held at the Angelo L. Tomaso Elementary School. The program runs from 8:30 am till 12:20 pm. There is an option to sign up for teacher-run Early Care, from 7:00 am to 8:30 am as well as After Care from 12:30 pm until 6 pm daily.

Lettire is always looking for ways to bring innovation into the courses. Her next ideas are technology-based as she sees students wanting to learn and play in courses that employ cutting edge technology. “With the program growing year after year, it appears that my goal to make this program the best camp around is coming true!” says Lettire.