Wonderful Final Week – 2014

What a terrific last week we had at Summer of SUCCESS!

Some of the girls worked together very diligently to create a dance and after several tries, we caught it on video! Such fun. Great smiles.

We spent our last morning at Elderslie Farm, and even though we had been there before, we got to do some really great new things. The intermittent rain didn’t dampen our fun in the least.

Since it was a “Bramble Days Cafe” day, we got to have breakfast! There were scones, granola and yogurt (with fresh berries – YUM!), frittata and blackberry lemonade.

And we went on as many hayrides as we possibly could! Over and over and over…

We also got to swing on the swings and we visited (and fed) the VERY pregnant goats, who seriously should be having their babies any day! We thought they would be born a few weeks ago and these goats are really looking uncomfortable now. 🙂

And THEN Mr. Elder showed us how to pick blackberries and we all got to pick some.  (He knew what he was talking about when he said to make sure they were “coal black”). Even a tiny bit of red made for a seriously tart berry!

In the afternoon we did our last Reading Plus, Math Magician and Khan Academy sessions so we could measure our progress over the summer. One student knocked 40 seconds off her “All Operations” time (100 computation questions on 0-12)!! One parent watched her daughter finish a lesson so she would know how to do it from home for the rest of the summer. And Mrs. Hawks helped a student finish her online journal.

We were playing our last SET games and realized the cards had gotten mixed up so we did a major organizing project to get them ready for the school year.

The other favorite game was Blockus – we managed to get a few of those games in, too, on the last day.

When we were loading up the basil to take home, one of the students happened to mention that her family had been using the basil plant she had taken home a couple weeks prior! They had planted it in the ground, it was growing, and they were using it for cooking tasty things!

Mrs. Carter brought her fancy microscope and some moth wings and roly-polys and we were AMAZED by what we saw under there!  She also brought some owl pellets and we were able to see mouse bones in them…

We are deeply grateful to Jeff Freund, principal of Coleman Middle School, for hosting us the first two weeks and to Pastor Wade Moore and LaTonia Kennedy for allowing us the use of Urban Preparatory Academy space for the last four weeks.

Thanks also to Joni Hawks, our program coordinator, and to our fantastic volunteers, some who came nearly every day for all six weeks and some who came once, as they were available: Kate Henson (Wheaton College), Judy Carter (Brooks grandparent and volunteer), Valerie Ellington (community member who found us through Volunteer Kansas), Priyanka Botny (Brooks volunteer), Janaea Eads (WSU student), Derek Cox (WSU student), Susan Elder (K-State student), Bao Vincent Ho (WSU student), Michaela Liebst (WSU student) and Alex Schmidt (paraprofessional in USD259).

We are grateful to Elderslie Farm for sharing their wonderful place with us, and for the donors who made it possible for us to have breakfast there and come away with some nice veggies on our field trips, AND pick berries.

We also thank the parents who entrusted their incoming 5th, 6th and 7th graders with us (and some of whom went out of their way to make it possible for their friends’ children to participate). It was great to have students from Allison, Brooks, Coleman, Christa McAulliffe, Hamilton, Mead and Mayberry, as well as a couple students who were here visiting from out of town and joined us.

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