Summer school, enrichment programs in full swing for Ardmore elementary students

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite
Maggie Galloway, left, Destiny Chambers, center, and Khalaya Wright play hand drums during a summer camp at Lincoln Elementary School Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

While summer months usually mean mostly empty hallways across local school campuses, Lincoln Elementary School continues to buzz with students this month. Summer school and camps for Ardmore elementary students have returned since the pandemic’s onset to give young minds some creative outlets.

Well over 100 Ardmore elementary students have been attending class or camp at Lincoln this month and will do so through June. Along with summer school and a STEM camp, some students are also taking part in a fine arts camp.

Across three classrooms on Tuesday, small groups of students spent about an hour each in music, art and dance camps. Will Rogers Elementary School music teacher Paige Anderson helped organize the camps and said the previous camp, last held in 2019, expanded this year to include younger students.

Rylee Denham and Kinsley Witter practice a dance routine during an Ardmore City Schools summer camp Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

“Our numbers are a little bit smaller this year, but we’ve actually added more grades. Two years ago it was third through fifth grade and this year we added first and second,” she said.

In the Lincoln Elementary School gymnasium, five of the youngest campers were learning a dance routine for an upcoming presentation but stopped briefly to show off ballet positions. Upstairs, a group of incoming fourth and fifth grade students listened to music while decorating marine-inspired mixed media images.

Ardmore elementary students Gabriel Boyd and Alex Ortiz create mixed media art pieces during a summer camp Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

Anderson on Tuesday was with a group of incoming third and fourth grade students that were learning different parts to the same song on small marimbas. To wrap up their hour of music camp for Tuesday, the five students moved to drums and each took turns coming up with drum beats.

“They’re kind of getting a snapshot of everything and it gives them enrichment. It’s not like a regular music class but it’s some of the same elements,” Anderson said. “Rhythms, finding a steady beat, because that’s most important. You can’t do anything else without a steady beat.”