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Summer Enrichment Earns Golden Bell

The Long Beach Unified School District’s Summer Enrichment Program has won the prestigious Golden Bell Award, the highest honor from the California School Boards Association. The award will be presented Dec. 6 in San Diego.

Summer Enrichment, developed in 2001 by the Long Beach School for Adults, serves first through eighth grade students.

"I am very excited for the outstanding SEP team to receive recognition for creating a program that sparks creativity and ignites passion for learning while increasing student achievement,” said Vicki Roberts, program specialist. “We appreciate the families that have supported this program since 2001, the high school students who have collaborated through community service, and the Summer Recreation staff for being awesome partners. Thank you to Molina Healthcare, Inc. for providing scholarships that have made enrichment classes available to more students since 2004."

Each enrichment class in art, chess, computers, drama, fitness, history, math, music, science, sewing or Spanish provides a unique opportunity for the teacher and up to 20 children to explore a subject in-depth for three hours a day for three weeks. Up to 25 class titles are offered each summer.

Feedback from parents each year shows a high level of satisfaction with each class. Data show that children increase their factual knowledge and acquire a greater depth of understanding. Parents pay a fee, but dozens of scholarships are available.

Classes are held at Tincher Preparatory School. Classes also have been held at Garfield Elementary School, an all-scholarship site, with funds coming from Molina Healthcare and the Long Beach Education Foundation.

The innovative program uses laptop and desktop computers, Smartboards, and digital video and camera equipment in computer, drama and history classes. The drama class for third through fifth grades puts on a musical production each 3-week session. They produce the audience program, build and paint props and backdrops, handle the sound and light system and film the production. Each child has a role in the drama. High school students earn community service hours, a graduation requirement, by working with the program.

Summer Enrichment is connected to LBUSD’s mission to support the personal and intellectual success of every student, every day. The program promotes these goals by providing a fun yet challenging curriculum that incorporates reading, writing and interaction. For more information, visit www.lbschools.net and click on Summer Enrichment Program in the alphabetical index.

The Golden Bell Awards promote excellence in education by recognizing outstanding programs in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. To win the award, applicants must demonstrate that the program has made a difference for students, and that it is exemplary, innovative and sustainable.

With the latest award, the Long Beach Unified School District has now won seven Golden Bells, including last year’s award for the Safe and Civil Schools Initiative.

The nonprofit CSBA represents more than 1,000 school districts and county offices of education throughout California.