Special programs at schools are beneficial

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 20, 2016

Remember back when you attended grade school. Field trips were pretty common, right?
The thing is, school budgets are tight these days, leading to many kids not getting a chance to experience as many field trips as children 30 years ago.
But the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation provided close to $15,000 for fifth and sixth graders at South Side Upper Elementary to not only go on field trips, but also enabled them to purchase equipment they used to create presentations to share what they learned on these trips and in class with others at the school.
The beauty of this program is not just that the students got a chance to visit a planetarium, museum or some other interesting place, but also provided them with the tools to build on what they learned, and even create their own planetarium and works of art.
Exposing young people to new and interesting things helps them become more curious about their world. And when they get a chance to utilize what they’ve learned to create their own presentation, they’ve had a chance to put the lesson into practice.
Touring the planetarium and art show held on Thursday at the school was a unique experience. It was evident the children had become engrossed in the subject matter. One student was understandably proud of the photos she had taken at the Crosby Arboretum. Other students were excited to show off their sculptures representing an abstract noun or items created via a 3D printer.
Students participating in the astronomy project enthusiastically shared their newfound knowledge about the celestial bodies that orbit our sun.
There are many ways to entice children to want to learn about a subject or topic. It seems one of the best ways to pique their interest is with a field trip, and then build upon it with a project where they get a chance to work hands-on with the subject matter.

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