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Steve Trash was a featured performer during last year's TRACKS programming.

Franklin County Schools makes summer program plans

Summer programs for schoolchildren are not a new concept in Franklin County, but this year things will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Franklin County Schools, summer programs will be offered virtually throughout the month of June, with July still pending.

“This is hard for everyone, including our students,” said Franklin County Schools 21st Century program director Lisa Gann. “They need friends, activities, socialization and etcetera. Our site coordinators are going to be there to be a friend and care to the best of our ability for that student just needing to hear another voice.”

During the month of June, site coordinators at each school will post online material to keep students reading, thinking, involved and motivated.

Traditionally the Summer TRACKS program offers a variety of activities to keep students involved while learning in different subjects throughout the summer.

“We offer a wide variety of activities, such as STEM projects, reading remediation, dance, art, music, gardening and much more,” Gann said. “We took field trips such as swimming, Music Hall of Fame, Cook’s Museum and many others, according to our themes for the summer.”

Students also typically visit the A.W. Todd Center twice a week for activities in science, technology, engineering, art and math through the Franklin County Extension.

“I think the benefits for participating in our programs are phenomenal,” Gann said. “Students do not have to go home alone. The students make lasting friendships they could not make during the busy school day.”

Gann said she does not know yet if the Summer TRACKS program will be able to return to its normal operations in July but assumes there will be several additional limits if it does – such as one teacher per 10 students with extra cleaning, social distancing and precautions.

“We love our students and our teachers,” Gann said. “We are going to do whatever necessary to keep everyone safe.”