Summer enrichment programs launch at THHS

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This week, the Summer Rising program returned for its 2022 session. All students received an email with signup information, including members of the incoming Class of 2026. Like last year, THHS teachers are offering an array of enrichment activities from different departments, including STEM, Humanities, and Physical Education. The program is scheduled to run until August 13.  

Multiple students said that they joined the program to get more experience with topics that they expect to learn about during the regular school year.

Rising freshman Samantha, who enrolled in the Guided Exploratory & Discovery Learning Through Sports program, said, “I think this is good for me because it will prepare and help me meet new people.”

Principal Brian Condon said “[the program is] just to have fun, get used to the school, and do some things that are academic but not necessarily graded, so when [students] come back in September it doesn’t feel like that much of a transition, especially [for] new kids.”

Mr. Condon said that this year’s program at THHS is not exactly part of the DOE’s “Summer Rising,” as it is funded through the school’s own budget.

He said he would like to run the program every year. “It’s nice to see kids in the building,” he said. 

Some students said they would have liked more time to plan for the program, as they received the signup form on July 7 and were given a deadline of July 8 to enroll.

Dabynn Yi, a rising junior, wanted to encourage some underclassmen to join the same program but said  “by the time I shared the email, it was too late. I think they should have given us a week or so [to sign up].”

Mr. Condon said, however, that students can still sign up even if they missed the deadline as long as they contact the instructor listed in the signup email.

The eleven featured courses involve topics such as sports, writing, the arts, robotics, computer programming, and more. The athletic programs seek to better prepare students for the school’s rigorous physical education program. The Phoenix‘s Creative Writing Workshop and The Japanese Language and Culture program allow students to further explore courses and extracurriculars already provided throughout the academic year. Enrichment STEM programs such as Robotics and Exploring Computer Programming aim to teach the basic skill sets for their respective topics, especially to students planning to join clubs such as ModIt or the Steel Hawks. 

The AP Capstone program is specifically geared towards students already enrolled in the courses AP Seminar or AP Research who desire further enrichment to prepare them for the year ahead. 

Social Studies teacher Franco Scardino said that he didn’t see himself as teaching a traditional course so much as he is helping to familiarize incoming students in AP Seminar, AP Research, and AP Capstone with the curriculum so that they can “jump right in in September.” He said, “In the end, we’re not doing homework, we’re not doing assessments, so I think students will get out of it what they want to get out of it and I’m happy to help facilitate that.” 

Summer Rising at THHS began in summer of 2021, using federal stimulus money for funding. 

Photo by Ryan Young.