Summer Dreamers at Pittsburgh Faison

By Fiona Lubold – 11th Grade North Hills High School

For most kids summer is a break from school, but for those who dream big, summer can be an opportunity to boost skills, try new things, and go deeper into reading, math and science.  That’s what’s happening at Faison Elementary School this summer.

The day I spent with the school, I watched students in Kindergarten have a reading session, where they practiced sounding out words, spelling, and reading.  “O” was the letter of the day.  Hop, jog, smock and frog were all words they were having fun with.  Learning often took the form of playing games.  They played a game of “Sparkle” where the students stand in a line and each person says one letter of the word they are spelling in order.  Miss a letter and you have to sit down. When they were done spelling a word the teacher had three students yell “Sparkle” and the fourth person had to sit down.  Each round has fewer and fewer people.

The students were very energetic. They seemed very enthusiastic to be there and seemed to be having a lot of fun learning.  The teachers were very nice and very good with the kids.  They really seemed to know how to make summer learning fun.

I also observed a 4th grade class.  When I first arrived in this class they were taking turns reading out loud a chapter from the book, “The Stories Julian Tells.”  Afterwards, they moved into math where they did warm-up problems and then a worksheet together as a class.  They were working on word problems in division followed by a three minute quiz.

Not so fun, right? Thankfully the students remained engaged because they got to play educational games in math.  And after they worked hard all morning, the afternoon became a time for more fun.  Students were divided into three groups.  Each group did a different activity.  One group did “Art Activism,” which involved expressing their opinions and feelings through various art mediums.  Another group, called “Building Up,” worked together to create buildings out of things like milk cartons, juice boxes and other recycled items.  For the more energetic kids, there was a third group called “Positive Spin.”  The students in this group rode bikes for the afternoon.

Why is the program titled Summer Dreamers?  As John Lennon succinctly put it,  “A dream you dream alone is only a dream.  A dream you dream together becomes a reality.”

The things we dream

The things we dream

Mosaic brings smiles to Summer Dreamers

Mosaic brings smiles to Summer Dreamers

At the board doing math

At the board doing math

Doing Division

Doing Division

"The Stories Julian Tells" Summer Reading

“The Stories Julian Tells”
Summer Reading

Reading Class

Reading Class

Summer Dreamers is for making a new reality together. For kids who want a better education. For families who want to give their kids a more wholesome life through better education; and of course for kids who dream big.


Fiona Grace Lubold 2

Fiona Lubold will be a junior at North Hills Senior High School in the fall.  She enjoys music, arts, acting, cooking, baking, reading, and writing. She hopes to gain more experience in media and journalism with Pittsburgh Youth Media.

 

 

 

 

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