Field Trip Learning Takes off at Alma Summer School
Alma schools are trying a new way of teaching summer school. It’s put some kids on a waiting list trying to get into the classroom.
But at Camp Airedale, students rarely spend time in the classroom. Thanks to left over grant money, they’re taking field trips almost daily to gain hands on learning experiences. It’s a vision from Superintendent David Woolly.
“He said no books, no paper, pencils; he wanted hands on activities, field trips,” said Primary School Assistant Principal Dee Ann Harris.
That’s exactly what these kids are doing to learn. Harris says the school targeted students who might need some help on the benchmark exam; however, anyone is welcome to sign up for the program.
“Camp Airedale, you get to do a lot of stuff that you didn’t get to do in real school,” says 8-year-old Tiana Blythe.
“It’s kind of sneaking in learning by first-hand experience,” said sixth grade reading teacher Cindy Dean.
From the Botanical Gardens in Fayetteville, the Clinton Library and Central High School in Little Rock, and even the Tulsa Zoo, students say they enjoy learning.
“The art museum I think was called Crystal Bridges,” said 8-year-old Brooke Loomis.
About 180 Kindergarten through 8th grade students are traveling around the state. They’re learning lessons they say they’ll always remember.
“This time the teachers get to sit back and watch and we actually get to do something,” said soon-to-be freshman Drake Martin.
“You can learn it outside of books and out in the world,” said soon-to-be 8th grader Mikayla McCoremick.
Harris says it’s not just core subjects the students are learning. They also tackle arts and crafts and even cooking.
“One of the students said the best part was, ‘I got to take enough food home so that all my family could have supper,’” said Harris.
Harris says a lot of the summer students are on free and reduced lunch, so it gives them an opportunity to have two good meals a day. Some days they even make enough food to take home.
Students also don’t have to pay for any of the trips. It’s all funded through left over school improvement grant money, according to Harris. Around 12 teachers and several volunteers help with the field trip learning.
“Even if we don’t have the school improvement money next summer, we’ll find a way to fund this because I anticipate it will grow,” said Harris.
It’s a creative way of learning that’s keeping students engaged.
“I’m coming back here next year,” exclaimed Loomis. “Make sure one that!”
Teachers say the best part about Camp Airedale is that students are excited to come to school. They hope that will affect future test scores.