WEST ORANGE, NJ — The 2019 West Orange School District Summer Enrichment Program has come to a close, having involved 456 students in athletics, academics and the arts. The program ran from July 1 through 26.
The enrichment program first began more than 20 years ago as a way to provide music, art and educational opportunities for students just completing second through eighth grades. PTAs have raised money to provide scholarships and teachers have long enjoyed meeting students from across the school district. The program also helps to bridge the summer gap and help students hone their musical skills in orchestra and band. High school students volunteer their time to assist teachers and students.
Saxophone, clarinet, oboe, symphonic, percussion, horn, violin, cello, trombone, violin and viola represent specialty classes, along with band and orchestra. There is even a piano lab class for burgeoning keyboardists and songwriters.
Dance, drama and musical theater offer other performance art options. The popular art classes include painting, crafts, ceramics, art design and calligraphy.
Technology, Math Quest and computers provided academic enrichment and Chinese was back, offering a good introduction to Mandarin with crafts, cooking, culture and characters. ESL students continued working on their language skills.
Physical fitness, Gym Jamboree, baseball and softball rounded out the courses available.
St. Cloud music teacher Scott Tomlin, West Orange High School nurse Denise Makri-Werzen and Maxwell Jean-Baptiste run the program from the WOHS Nurse’s Office.
“It takes a lot of work to get the program up and running, but we’ve got it figured out,” said Tomlin, who has been running the program as assistant director for five years. “I’ve been part of the enrichment program since its beginning, and we all love doing it. All the teachers want to come back every year.”
Newly-appointed Superintendent J. Scott Cascone visited the program on July 23 and was impressed with not only the offerings, but the students.
“Our students were so respectful and easy to talk to,” he said.
Photos Courtesy of WOSD