Summer program preps kids for state testing

WICHITA, Kansas - School’s out, but its back to basics at Hamilton Middle School.

It’s called Game On. It stands for Gaming Academic Measurements Every day, said program director LaTonia Kennedy. “We’re helping build their skills not only for next year, but also helping to prepare them for our state assessment.

Hamilton is a low social economic school. Many of the students do not score well on the state assessment test. School officials noticed the problem and created “Game On”. Last year between 10 to 15 kids showed up for summer school each day. Through this new program, that number has sky rocketed to 70 kids a day. The difference, officials took summer school out and replaced it with summer camp.

Game On tackles financial literacy, bringing the bank to the class room.

“We realized that financial literacy is very important for our population,” said Kennedy. “We have a group of kids who may not see someone using a check,” said Kennedy. “They’re learning how to save and how to budget.”

There is a keyboarding class.

“This is a technology generation, but they don’t have the keyboarding skills assessment test which are going to be online they have to know how to type.”

And sessions that focus on social skills as well as Language Arts.

“We are giving them strategies on note taking, strategies on writing, and strategies on analyzing nonfiction text.”

In exchange for their hard work, students are given the option of camp activities like cheerleading or basketball. For soon to be 6th grader Karen Ortiz, it’s a cooking class.

“I always wanted to learn how to cook; now I know how to make French toast, smoothies, and muffins,” said Ortiz.

“As educators, we have to do something outside the box,” said Kennedy.

Game On ends June 13th.

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