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Students Stay Cool in Peekskill Summer School

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- This summer, about 250 Peekskill students have enjoyed learning in the cool comfort of the new Peekskill Middle School.

There were learning opportunities for all students between the ages of five and 17. In July, several programs operated at a high level of student engagement and activity. The Rising Stars Academy offered classes for 100 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Directed by teachers Marisa Ansovino and Alicia McCorvey, who are participating in the Future School Leaders’ Program of Bank Street College, the program offered the four core subject areas of English, math, social studies and science, as well as music, art, and gym.

“This program is very successful in helping children maintain their learning progress from the school year just completed and get off to the best possible start in the fall,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Joseph Mosey.

The Summer School Academy for grades six through eight offered instruction in English, math, social studies, science, and reading for about 100 students. The grant-funded program is part of LEAP, the District’s initiative for after-school and summer programs. The Summer School Academy was run by Naima Smith-Moore, who has made extra efforts this summer to make sure parents receive communications about their child’s progress in summer school and that students receive as much individualized attention as possible.

Smith-Moore said she is especially pleased with the use of a new innovation in literacy this summer: a large inventory of Nook brand e-readers.

“With our set of 33 Nooks, each student in a class could benefit from the tools that these e-readers provide to boost literacy,” she said.

Teacher Jenna Ferris, who ran the PACE program, agreed.

“The students read much more quickly when using the e-readers,” she said. “They ended up way ahead on their summer reading.”

Gloria Blackman, who ran the READ 180 program for incoming sixth graders. She said e-readers make it easier for students to read.

“This computer–based reading program gives students many supports to help them through a text,” she said.

Following special closing ceremonies for the kindergarten through eighth grade summer programs in August, high school students will be in place for Regents exam review classes.

A special two-day Jump Start Orientation for all incoming sixth graders at the end of August will wrap up the active summer.


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