DOTHAN - Wiregrass children are “journeying into the world of books” this month, as part of the Troy University Summer Spectacular. Nearly 150 children are participating in the four-week summer program at Kelly Springs Elementary School in Dothan.
In its 16th year, Summer Spectacular offers kids ages four to 11 knowledge and fun during the summer, while providing TROY education majors with rewarding, hands-on experience. TROY Early Childhood Instructor Rita Farver said the college students have a chance to apply what they are learning in the classroom.
“The experience they get with real children is invaluable,” Farver said.
According to Dr. Cynthia Hicks, assistant professor of reading education, the preservice teachers plan all of the lessons and activities.
“They are completely in charge,” Hicks said.
The classrooms at Kelly Springs are decorated in a variety of themes. Children have the freedom to move from room to room to participate in different genres of literature, which include picture books, poetry and historical literature, among others.
While literature is the theme of this year’s Summer Spectacular, TROY education students are integrating other subjects such as mathematics, social studies, science and fine arts into the curriculum.
“I want my students to come away with the knowledge of what it’s like to teach.” Hicks said. “I also want them to learn how to work cooperatively with other colleagues, as well as help children cooperate with each other.”
Her goal for the young children this year is to be able to write and publish a book at the end of the program. She also hopes they develop a love of reading.
While the education students’ efforts will be evaluated at the end of the four-week camp, they need not worry about their grades.
“They have done a very good job,” said Hicks.
For more information, contact the Troy University College of Education at 334-983-6556.
Editor’s Note: Holly Keith of Opp is majoring in journalism at Troy University. She is an intern in the Office of University Relations.