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Galena School District Learning Zone Program
By Felicia Lawrence
GALENA, KS.--- "It gets them out of the house in the summer. It gets them off the couch, out here interacting face-to-face with teachers and other students, getting to experience things that they wouldn't get to experience," said Martin Burke, project director.
Summer school isn't summer school in Galena. Archery, swimming, fine arts, and exploring nature- these are just some of the things you can experience at the "Learning Zone."
"Our main focus is to get them active with hands on activities and sneaking that academic piece into those activities," said Burke.
Everyday the program gets 115 children off the couch, out of the classroom, and expands their minds through enriching experiences in their environment.
"We get to go swimming everyday," said Jack Laturner, second grader.
The kids do a little more than swimming. The teachers work to intertwine academics with physical activities. They've been working to build a community garden, expand their improv skills through acting, and have even begun to learn graphic art using computers. The children also take field trips once a week to different places in the Four States.
"We're trying to give them those building blocks to be successful once they graduate and be productive citizens. Know how to treat each other, know how to collaborate, know how to work, and know how to be a successful human being," said Burke.
Project Director Martin Burke says their ultimate goal is to develop the whole child. The program lasts another two weeks and will continue after school in the fall.