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Students at New Richmond Middle School use power tools as part of their Summer Stretch class.

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New Richmond’s Summer Stretch program began last week and continues to be as popular as ever. Nine hundred and eleven students, grades pre-kindergarten through seventh, signed up for the various classes offered through the school district, said Jessica Ferguson, director of curriculum and instruction for the New Richmond School District.


“I think that’s right around where we were last year,” she said of the enrollment numbers.

Ferguson said she attributes New Richmond’s summer success to the variety of classes offered for the students.

With classes ranging from “Gadgets Galore,” “Wildlife is Everywhere,” “iPad Apps” and “American Girls II,” there’s a little bit of everything and something for everyone, she said.

“Our most popular classes are our science and social studies based classes,” Ferguson said.

In “Gadgets Galore,” students are able to use their creativity to create various gadgets, all while learning what it takes to make things work.

“That isn’t a new class, but it’s been a great staple for us and fills up quickly,” Ferguson said. “Previous years we’ve only offered two sections of it and this year we added a third section. It’s a fun, neat class for the students.”

In “Reading is a Work of Art,” students read children’s books and create art based on the stories they read.

Ferguson said any science-based class about bugs is also popular with the kids.

“They love to learn about that kind of stuff,” she said.

In addition, a variety of review classes are also offered at all levels for students who might need a little extra help in reading or math, she said. “We try to keep those classes smaller so teachers can really focus and concentrate on helping the students,” she said.

Students enrolled in Summer Stretch are able to take three classes over the 14-days.

Classes begin around 8 a.m. and end around 11:30 a.m., depending on the building. Snack and recess breaks are included between the second and third classes. Lunches are not provided by the school district.

“Parents really see a value in keeping kids learning through the summer,” Ferguson said. “They appreciate it and that’s why we’ve been so successful.”

Summer Stretch runs from Tuesday, June 11, through Friday, June 28. There is no cost to the residents of the New Richmond School District or those open enrolled in the district. Non-district students are also able to register for a $30 per class fee.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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