CAPPS ‘Summer Jam’ program begins

By Daniel Brunty The Winston County Journal

CAPPS (Changing Academic Performance & Promoting Success) began their “Summer Jam” program this past Monday at the campuses of Eiland Middle School, Nanih Waiya, and Noxapater schools. This is the third year that the summer program has been hosted, as well as the fourth year of CAPPS itself being in the schools. The program will last from June 4-29, and will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 12 noon daily. Lori Matzek, Lead Teacher of the EMS CAPPS site, spoke on the changes of the program from the previous year. “Each year we have focused on a different content area in science,” Matzek said. “The first year we did earth science, and last year it was all about life science. And this year we will focus on physical science.” Matzek also discussed the progression a student will go through during their time in the program. “The way our program is broken down is that each student goes to a language/arts/science integrated class a day and also a math class per day,” Matzek said. “The program will include those targeted physical science/language activities.” The “Summer Jam” program will allow students a variety of learning options. “We will be taking field trips every week that are related to those,” Matzek said. “For example, one of the places we are going is to the coal mine and the power plant in Choctaw County during the week we are talking about electricity. We hope to get to go bowling for our last field trip for the students.” Not only are students taught academics during the program, they also get lessons related to character. “Besides field trips and the day-to- day things, we also try to incorporate a lot of character education,” Matzek said. “There is 30 minute time slot for character education programs each day. Sometimes the teachers do that and sometimes we have guest speakers who do it. Also during the day we have enrichment activities such as P.E. and music. The program is looking for a good number of students to attend. “We’re hoping to get about 150 children,” Matzek said. “We are hoping to have 75 to 100 here, with 25 to 30 at each of the county sites.” With the number of students expected, it is critical that each receive the attention they deserve. “We always try to have small groups,” Matzek said. “We try to make sure that the students can get individual attention from the teachers. They are certified teachers that have each class plus a tutor in every room. Professors at Mississippi State planned these activities and lessons. So the science activities were planned by one of their science professors and the math activities by one of their math professors.” The summer program has slight variations from the normal CAPPS program that occurs during the school year. “During the school year, we do try to focus on tutoring, on interventions, and doing more of what ties into what is going on in the classroom that week or that day,” Matzek said. “The summer is more enrichment, so we can have a more wider variety of students. This will include all levels of achievers this summer. So it is not like summer school used to be or what most people think it is.” CAPPS partners with the Louisville Municipal School District, the Boys & Girls Club, and Mississippi State University to bring forth the “Summer Jam” program. If you would like more information regarding the summer program or CAPPS, please call 662-773-2035.