DOTHAN—About 130 local schoolchildren are learning more about world cultures this month during Troy University’s Summer Spectacular program.
The four-week summer learning enrichment program started on June 8 and is led by students in the TROY Dothan Campus education program. It provides a fun learning environment for children while giving TROY’s education majors rewarding hands-on experience in a classroom setting.
Sessions are held on Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon at Kelly Springs Elementary School. This year’s theme, “Continental Connections,” is designed to introduce children to the history and cultures of Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America.
On Thursday, the halls at Kelly Springs were buzzing with the sounds of children involved in numerous learning activities, from building model Japanese bonsai trees to constructing a near life-size papier-mâché hippopotamus.
TROY students teaching at the Summer Spectacular said the hands-on experience working with students has been valuable.
“It’s been a whole lot of work but also a whole lot of fun,” said Lori Granger, a senior elementary education major from Enterprise. “It’s shown me that teaching requires plenty of patience and organization.”
Rita Farver, a TROY education program instructor, said Summer Spectacular is in its 17th year and continues to grow in popularity. This year, children from throughout the Wiregrass, Florida and Georgia are attending the program.
“We truly have people from all over who bring their children to the Summer Spectacular,” Farver said.
Farver said the Summer Spectacular was started as way to allow TROY education majors to get classroom experience during the summer months when schools are not in session.
“If we didn’t provide this experience then students taking our methods course would not be able to get their lab hours,” Farver said.
The Summer Spectacular ends with a closing ceremony on Thursday, July 1, at 10 a.m. in the Kelly Springs cafeteria.