Learning the finer points - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Learning the finer points

 June 13, 2006
by Allison Phillips

Albany -- How would you like to travel the state and get paid for it? Some Albany 9th graders are getting $110  a week to go to school and take field trips.  

The students are spending their summer back in school. The four public high schools in Dougherty County are taking part in a new Summer Learning Program.

This week's lesson is etiquette.  "You walk the female to the table let her sit in the chair, push the chair up, then go around and stand there and make sure she sits down properly, and then you sit down," said students Joshua Harp.

Thirty 14 and 15 year olds who get free or reduced lunches were chosen for the class. The students' grades, attendance and behavior also played a big role.

The teachers from Albany High School think this forty day summer school is making a difference.  "Giving the children an opportunity that normally they would not have and learning stuff that they normally would not even have the opportunity to come in contact with," said Teacher Stephanie Wood.

Last week students learned colors and types of flowers, and then they each made his own flower arrangement. "As you can see it took a lot of hard work because we had to bend the flowers, to fit them in the cup," said student Alexandrea Drake.

Properly folding napkins and setting tables are also lessons these teens are learning.     Students will be sending out invitations for their meal that they are preparing and serving on Thursday. After they cook dinner Thursday night with their families, the students will get up early Friday for a trip to Wild Adventures.

They've already been to Albany State and Darton College.

This class has students traveling places that many ninth graders have only dreamed of. "But I think a lot of students are going to want to get into the program next year. Because of the learning atmosphere and also because of the field trips, being involved in things they may not be able to be involved with," said Psych Director for Summer Learning, Chris Wood.

Even though getting paid doesn't hurt, Joshua Harp knows this class is definitely preparing him for success. "I'll know how to explain to my wife if she doesn't know how to do it."    

Students are now preparing for their bowling trip coming up next week. They'll learn how to put their math in motion while they keep score.  

At the end of the seven week program students will have learned about proper etiquette, dressing for success, and putting math in motion. They plan to travel to the Georgia Aquarium and the Atlanta Zoo in the weeks to come.

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