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2nd annual Polk Clark summer school program returns May 22

2nd annual Polk Clark summer school program returns May 22

By Caleb Revill

The GCTS/Polk Clark Alumni Association invites participants to apply for its 2nd annual New Beginnings summer school program that will teach students in Milan from May 22 to June 16.

BRIDGING THE GAP – The GCTS/Polk Clark Alumni Association is working to bridge the summer learning gap one student at a time. The alumni association’s 2nd annual New Beginnings Summer Camp will teach students at the Polk Clark School in Milan from May 22 to June 16. Pictured are (from left) Doris House, Tammi Ross, Tranequa Harrell, John Earl Smith, Virginia Davis, Pearlie Sowell and Marvell Fair. Photo by Caleb Revill.

The program, hosted onsite at the GCTS/Polk Clark campus, offers a four-week learning experience for grades K-8 with a focus on reading, science and math subjects. This year the program will also feature a yoga class as well as music and technology courses.

Program Director Virginia Davis has nearly 30 years of experience working with the Jackson-Madison County School System and has a Masters of Science degree in Education and Administration. On May 13, Davis met with three certified teachers for the local summer school program’s orientation.

“(The program) helps to bridge the gap in reading and math,” Davis said. “We know that over the summer, children do lose some of their learning abilities. If we can bridge some of that gap together, when they go back in August, they will be able to at least maintain something versus losing it all. One of our focuses will definitely be working on multiplication facts, because our children need to know multiplication facts.”

Reading comprehension is also a big focus of the summer school program. This year’s program will also have a career day where folks from the community will be invited to talk about their careers.

“We have a doctor, a lawyer, a judge, a banker, a dentist and a mortician,” Davis said. “The children will get to see different careers of different people here in Gibson County.”

Davis is looking forward to being with the children again for another summer program. She enjoys watching them learn and grow every day of the program.

“We have field day on the last Monday of camp,” Davis said. “The fire department and police department are coming, and they’re going to provide food for grilling. The fire department will do water for our slip and slide and our field day. The kids will have a good time with that.”

Students will be taken on field trips to Discovery Park in Union City, Reelfoot Lake in Tiptonville and the Memphis Zoo.

“I sort of put a theme to each week,” Davis said. “The first week will be plant week, the second week is animals, the third week is machines and the fourth week we’re wrapping everything up.”

Alumni Association President John Earl Smith said that the Polk Clark summer school program is excellent, and he’s excited to have it continue this year.

“I had been a tutor when I worked for the power company in Kansas City,” Smith said. “I was a math tutor, so when she (Virginia Davis) went through and talked about all of the things that they’re going to do with the kids, that resonated with me.”

There is still time for additional students to enroll in this summer’s program. Those interested are encouraged to reach out to the GCTS/Polk Clark Alumni Association for more information. Donations to help support the program and ensure its continuation next year can be sent to the Polk Clark (GCTS) Alumni Association at P O Box 108 in Milan, TN 38358.

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