Fayette's 21 Century Learning Center 2010.11.10

Written by David Green.

21.computers.jpgBy DAVID GREEN

In one classroom, Fayette teacher Amy Herman is leading students on a project to create three-dimensional pumpkins—each is a dodecagon, with 12 sides. The next day the students were to clean out real pumpkins and cook the flesh.

Down the hall in the elementary school computer lab, teacher Jason Ohlemacher is guiding students through a session with Success Maker software. The interactive program pinpoints a student’s grade level in reading and mathematics skills and provides activities and assessment.

The third group of students is out on the playground with Rachel Kinsman from the Fulton County Health Department. Activities are often unstructured, and as long as students are engaged in some form of physical activity, they have their teacher’s blessing.

After 25 minutes, the students switch activities until they’ve had a turn with each of the three segments.

It’s all part of the 21st Century Community Learning Center program funded through the U.S. Department of Education.

This marks the second year of the five-year program for Fayette, and this is the second time the district was chosen to participate.

Elementary principal Dr. Luann Boyer shortened the name of the program to FAST (Fayette After School Time). After school is the main focus of FAST, but there are three related segments.

The Morning Program is scheduled every day from 6:45 to 8 a.m., when Mr. Ohlemacher is available to help with homework and offer some tutoring. Breakfast is available for the early risers.

The Saturday Program is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon most Saturdays through March 5 at Normal Memorial Library. Programs are scheduled for children from kindergarten through grade six, but the grant has allowed the library to open for all patrons during those Saturday hours. State funding cuts resulted in reduced hours for the library in September 2009, including the end of Saturday hours.21.four.tilt.jpg

There was also a Summer Session at the school during which children planted a garden and harvested crops.

The after-school program is strictly for students in grades two through five who have been recommended by teachers for participation.

In the first round of the program that started in 2004, the main focus was on remedial education. This time there’s more emphasis on enrichment, Dr. Boyer said, and that’s being bolstered by outside agencies such as the health department.

“It is our goal to enrich students’ lives and at the same time provide academic assistance,” she said.

Each after-school session starts off with a snack, Mr. Ohlemacher said, and then the three sessions begin concurrently. One teacher is in charge of reading and mathematics enrichment and another offers a special activity.

“That provides an opportunity for students to learn and experience things they might not have an opportunity to experience at home or during a normal school day,” Mr. Ohlemacher explained.

Sessions will cover subjects ranging from soybeans to cooking to building bird houses. Entertainment days will include video games, Wii games and an introduction to the Apple iPad. Ten Fayette teachers will lead the various special classes.

The technology session generally incorporates the Success Maker software mentioned earlier to help students prepare for state testing and to push for greater academic growth in their grade level.

“Success Maker has proven to be very effective in the past,” Mr. Ohlemacher said. “If students can get 60 minutes a week working with the program they have a 98 percent chance of passing the Ohio Achievement Assessment.”

In addition to sessions provided by the Fulton County Health Department, FAST will also receive a visit from Sauder Village personnel, and the formation of Scouting groups is on the agenda.

Students are FAST expanding their horizons—both mentally and physically—and having a lot of fun along the way.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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