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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Summer Enrichment Program: Pasadena Educational Foundation

Summer Enrichment Program: Pasadena Educational Foundation

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By May S. Ruiz

The Pasadena Educational Foundation, a community-based non-profit organization, was established in 1971 to support, enhance, and supplement the programs, initiatives, and priorities of the Pasadena Unified School District.

It was 12 years ago that PEF began offering a summer enrichment program for students in Pasadena and neighboring cities. Its slate of classes combines academic, athletic and art subjects designed to engage children in a fun and stress-free environment. The half-day schedule leaves students ample time to enjoy their summer break while keeping their minds ready for the school year ahead.

For PEF’s new Program Manager, Jamie Powell, and Marketing Director, Monica Bosserman Lopez, the summer program actually began in the fall, just as students were settling into the new school year. Teachers were lined up and they submitted proposals for what subjects they are planning to teach, last October. In December, Jamie had the roster of classes; in February, brochures were printed and the first outreach effort launched.

The success of PEF’s programs ensures its return every year and with it, now locations may be added. The program runs from June 15 through July 16, Monday through Thursday. For incoming kindergarten and 1st grade students, there is a self-contained class that runs all three blocks. For 2nd through 8th graders, they have a choice of three blocks. High schoolers have one block to choose a prep course. The K-8 programs are from 8 am – 12pm; 9-12 programs are from 9 am – 12 pm.

This year’s participating schools are: Don Benito Fundamental (K-6); Franklin Elementary (K-6); McKinley (K-8); San Rafael Elementary (K-6); and PUSD headquarters (9-12). Online enrollment registration (www.pased.org/summer) is going on now until May 29 and you can view available classes in real time. As classes fill quickly, you need to register right away. If you’re applying for scholarships, you can also apply online with proof of eligibility and it’s at first-come, first-serve basis.

Tuition for the summer programs are: PUSD students (K-8) $420 for the first student; non-PUSD student (K-8) $500 for the first student; PUSD student (9-12) $250 for the first student; non-PUSD student (9-12) $300 for the first student. Each additional sibling student gets a $25 discount; there may be an additional materials fee for some classes. Tuition balances must be paid in full by May 29.

According to Jamie and Monica, two exciting classes available this year are 3-D Printing and Robotics (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), both offered at McKinley. Robotics and 3-D Printing are also offered at Don Benito. Language Immersion Program in Spanish is available at Franklin and San Rafael; and Mandarin is offered at Don Benito.

For teachers taking part in the summer program, it is an opportunity for them to indulge in a favorite hobby, like doll-making, and to share that interest with a roomful of young learners. Still for some teachers, it is a chance to expand on lessons and subjects that don’t fit in the regular school year.

PEF’s summer curriculum fills and addresses the needs of all students, ranging in age from four years to 18 years old. With a wide range of courses on offer, children are sure to find an activity that piques their interest and passion.

Introduction to kindergarten classes prepare young children for school with language arts, math, art and music. Introduction to first grade eases the transition from kindergarten to first grade through thematic activities in reading, writing, and math.

A quick glance at PEF’s brochure reveals a potpourri of useful classes for elementary and middle-schoolers. For those struggling with writing, a tool like Thinking Maps helps students get organized in a fun way. In the language arts, students can learn writing in several genres including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Meanwhile, book lovers and reluctant readers alike can take a Book Club class. Round table discussions explore characters, plot, theme, conflict, and resolution.

In the field of Visual Art, an art studio class exposes students to drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, and sculpture to help them create their own original artwork. Dual emphasis on technique and creative expression is taken in this class. In Performing Art, there is creative dance — from ballet, to jazz, to modern; theatre class touches on acting exercise, improv and pantomime. Music classes in violin, recorder and ukulele are offered.

Craft classes in jewelry-making, knitting, embroidery, and folk-art dolls have students working with a variety of threads, yarns and needles.

On the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program, students can take marine biology, botany, physical science, space engineering, algebra or computers. In Math City, future urban planners learn, apply, and combine geometry with money skills to design, purchase, build and measure a neighborhood of a model city. They then make money by renting the spaces in their finished construction.

To keep students active and healthy, athletic activities like golf, soccer, and tennis, are offered. For the culinary inclined, cooking is taught along with nutrition, using math and science. They learn to prepare food using basic recipes from various cultures and get to taste their creation.

For high-schoolers, the summer program offers test prep classes in SAT and ACT, provided through another non-profit organization, College Access Plan (CAP). Students get instruction on all three SAT areas (Critical Thinking, Math, and Writing) using video, online, and in-person content delivery. The program will also help prepare kids for the college application process with workshops on choosing colleges, scholarships and personal statement.

A Graphic Design class is also available for high-schoolers, which incorporates design and 3-D printing. Using software programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and 3-D modeling software, students explore the world of graphic design in a creative environment.

With all these courses on offer for Pasadena’s youth, they can spend their summer productively, while enjoying their various pursuits. What a great time to be a student in Pasadena!

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