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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

'Sky's the limit' for learning at Academy

Monday, January 14, 2002

Colton Black and his mother, Sharon, get a preview of the first activities scheduled from art teacher Amanda Fris.
SIKESTON - The sky's the limit for kindergartners who enroll in the Kinder Community Academy.

They can create clay art or learn Spanish. Some might be interested in learning about cowboys and cowgirls, being able to do sign language or dance and play to music.

There's no end to the possibilities.

To be conducted at the Sikeston Kindergarten Center, the after-school enrichment classes will last from 4:15-5:15 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The cost for the six-week program is $29. Parents are encouraged to participate and may do so at no charge.

The first class, to start Jan. 22, will be Kinder Clay Art, where students will create and design bells and wind chimes. Organizers emphasize the program, a collaborative effort between adult education and the Sikeston Kindergarten Center, is for any kindergarten-age child who lives in Sikeston and the surrounding communities. The student does not have to attend Sikeston Public Schools.

The idea for the program came from a similar one at the Ozark Technical College in Springfield. John Wesemann, who is in charge of adult education at the Sikeston Career and Technology Center, and Sikeston Kindergarten Center Principal Vera Glueck were discussing her effort to get some after-school programs started the center. "He and I were right on the same wave lengths. He said I want to do this and I said well I'm ready. I've already been talking to people too. It was sort of like both of us had this idea and when we collaborated it just worked out perfectly," Said Glueck

The program is structured so students can take more than one class if they wish. The classes will be taught by Sikeston Public Schools teachers.

"We're always looking for something else for our community because we feel like Sikeston kind of leads the way in southeast Missouri," Wesemann said. "We're always trying to stimulate our children and our communities and environments are always changing. A lot of times our children have been in the classroom all day and although they'll be in the same classroom, we're looking at trying to do fun activities and associate them with our school district."

The whole idea, explain Wesemann and Glueck, is to enable students of kindergarten age to explore a variety of areas of interest and participate in discovery activities.

"This program will make learning fun and enhance the traditional experience by giving your child the enjoyment of a new learning situation," said Glueck.

"It will give parents and children an opportunity to be in a learning situation together. That's important for the children in several ways. It shows an example of the idea that learning is something that can be fun and is a lifelong pursuit. It shows that just because you get out of school you are continuing to learn. It also gives the parent and child an opportunity to develop a closer relationship to work on a project together or have a mutual goal. I think too, it will afford some of our kids an extra emphasis in some areas of interest."

And the best part is, there are no letter grades, only the challenge of learning new information and skills.

'Our theme is 'The Sky's the Limit,'" Glueck said. "We can reach our goals if we continue to work at them. It goes beyond a school day, just reaching up a little higher to gain a little more knowledge and experience."

Registration will begin Monday. For more information contact Wesemann at 471-5442.