School-a-pool-ooza students treated to tour of downtown Grafton

GRAFTON—The historical downtown area became an outdoor learning classroom for the students taking part in Anna Jarvis Elementary School’s Summer School-a-pool-ooza.

On Tuesday, students taking part in the unique summer school program were treated to a walking tour of downtown Grafton, making stops at some well-known places, in the first of many outings through the program which began Monday.

“I wanted our students to see what our small community has to offer.  We have all these amazing resources right out our back door and it was the first time for many of the students to experience it,” said Bethany Knight, Kindergarten Teacher at Anna Jarvis Elementary School. “We tried to find some high interest activities to keep our students excited about Grafton”

During the day, groups made stops at the Grafton Post Office, the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society’s historic M&M Bank Building, Taylor County Art Council’s Gallery 62 West and the Grafton Fire and Police Departments, finally ending outside of the International Mother’s Day Shrine.

“The students absolutely loved the walking tour, and each student had a different favorite part,” Knight voiced. “Some loved the vaults that were on display at the Historical Society’s bank, others were so excited to see our fire and police vehicles up close and others expressed how cool it was to help scan packages at the post office.”

She said that she would like to thank all of the groups involved with the walking tour.   

“They accommodated our schedules and were so welcoming when we reached their buildings,” Knight expressed. “It was definitely a combined effort for everyone involved but so worth it to see the excitement on the student’s faces!

And with a successful walking tour under their belts, Knight shared that they are ready to take on their future adventures through the program.

“We will be out and about every Tuesday and Thursday,” she explained. “We have weekly trips planned to the Grafton City Pool, and we also plan on taking advantage of what Taylor County has to offer by visiting ACE Adventures and taking a tour of the lake on Tygart Lake Cruise’s Princess.”

Summer School-a-pool-ooza began July 6 and will run through August 5, and offers 130 students in grades K-4 learning experiences both in and out of the classroom. 

The curriculum focuses on academic subject areas during the morning and recreation and enrichment in the afternoon, working to fill gaps that were possibly created because of the pandemic.

“It is amazing to hear the excitement my kids had about attending Summer School. We have just finished the first week and they are ready to go back next week,” shared Parent Starla McCauley. “I feel that is an awesome opportunity for the children of Taylor County as is giving our children a chance to learn both educational lessons and socializing skills that might have been forgotten during the changes that took place because of COVID-19.”


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