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franklin county times

T.R.A.C.K.S. programs underway

Jeremiah Smith and Emily Morlan work on making their miniature pizzas at the East Franklin T.R.A.C.K.S. summer program this past week.
Jeremiah Smith and Emily Morlan work on making their miniature pizzas at the East Franklin T.R.A.C.K.S. summer program this past week.

EAST FRANKLIN – Each year, children who participate in the 21st Century Learning Center T.R.A.C.K.S. programs at Franklin County and Russellville City schools are able to continue their learning throughout the summer months while also having fun with other children their own age.

For the first year, East Franklin has an active T.R.A.C.K.S. summer program and site coordinator Sherry Smith said students are already off to a great start for the summer.

“Not only do we have tons of fun, but each week we ‘travel’ to and learn about various countries around the world,” Smith said.

“So far we have traveled to Australia and ate Tim Tams, designed coral reefs and discussed marsupial wild life.

“We then traveled to Japan where we made origami animals, learned about earthquakes and volcanoes, and even tried our luck eating with chopsticks.”

This past week, students traveled to Italy and learned about Italian culture and food by making miniature pizzas for lunch.

“The teachers at East Franklin strive to incorporate STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] into the summer curriculum on a regular basis to provide students with hands-on learning activities that are educationally beneficial to them,” Smith said.

“The kids have really seemed to enjoy the activities we’ve done so far.”

In addition to the tour of different countries, Smith said students in the T.R.A.C.K.S. summer program at East Franklin have 10 fieldtrips planned such as going to the movies, the splash pad, and swimming.

“We also have water activities several times during the week including a slip-n-slide and water balloon fun, as well as other outside play,” she said.

“We also offer the students many extracurricular materials such as board games, home living supplies, and baby dolls, and students have the opportunity to explore learning websites in our computer lab with wireless laptops, iPads, and even Wii games.”

Dr. Susan Hargett, Community Education and 21st CLC T.R.A.C.K.S. coordinator, said programs are located at East Franklin, Phil Campbell, Red Bay, Russellville, and Tharptown. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Monday – Friday, but a child can be dropped off and picked up at any point during that time frame depending on the parents’ convenience. The programs are for ages 5-12.

Students in need of transportation from Vina will be offered bussing to Red Bay and Belgreen students may be bussed to Tharptown.

“If you work this summer or just need a fun place for your children to hang out with their peers, one of your better options is to enroll them in an engaging summer program at one of your local schools,” Hargett said.

“All summer sites are staffed with caring personnel who have been fingerprinted and background checked.

“During the day not only will breakfast, lunch, and a snack be offered at no additional charge, but your child will be able to enjoy exciting activities which will keep them academically sharp through fun, hands-on learning opportunities.”

T.R.A.C.K.S. programs are available to any student in the appropriate age range that lives in Franklin County.

For more information about the T.R.A.CK.S. summer programs or for questions about enrollment, call 256-331-0005.


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