Students enrolled in the St. Thomas-St. John District's Extended School Year summer program enjoyed a one-of-a-kind experience at the Cyril E. King Airport on July 7.
Under the direction of Special Education Director Sheryl Griffith and the coordination of Port Authority employee Gail Chinnery, students toured the King airport's observation tower, where air traffic controllers get airplanes in and out of the sky safely. The Fire Department also got in on the educational fun, and presented a safety demonstration on the tarmac with several of its engines conducting elaborate water displays that excited the students. To close out the afternoon, students toured the baggage claim area at the airport to observe how items arrive on-island.
Mrs. Griffith said the field trip was part of the program's five-week theme, "How do people, goods and services get on and off our island." In addition to the airport, she said the students toured the downtown post office.
"They have been taking pictures to make post cards that they will send to each other, so that they can understand how things move in and out of, not only the islands, but the world," Mrs. Griffith said.
Mrs. Griffith also pointed out that while Extended School Year focuses on academic reinforcement, "we are still trying to make it more interactive and hands-on than the regular school year." She said each week, students engage in activities to help reinforce the academic lessons they learn in the classrooms. This includes creating recipes in the classroom kitchen that replicate math and science lessons, as well as going on field trips.
Mrs. Griffith praised the dedication of the teachers and paraprofessionals who assist with the program each year. "They get together and plan great activities for the students," she said.
The Extended School Year summer program wraps up on July 27 this year, at which time an open house will be hosted for parents to see and learn about their children's involvement in the program.