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Klein ISD Employee Makes Summer Learning Possible

August 23, 2011

Hassler Elementary aide organizes education program for area students

 

Local students participate in inaugural Summer Lunch and Learn program

Local students participate in inaugural Summer Lunch and Learn program

Spring, TX. — Peggy Winters, a former parent and now educator in Klein ISD, has witnessed first-hand the impact of a good education. Although not a classroom teacher, she enters her 11th year working in Klein and has spent five of which as an educational aide at Hassler Elementary. When school came to an end last year, she felt as if her work helping the children was unfinished.

“Throughout the year, the teachers show such dedication and passion for their students, and the kids in return show great enthusiasm and desire to learn,” said Winters. “Unfortunately, in the summer there are groups of students that lose that connection to their education.”

Winters initiated Summer Lunch and Learn; an eight-week program held on Tuesdays during the summer at Northwood Assembly Church, which offered the facility without hesitation. She and her colleagues identified students in the area who could most benefit from the program.

“I wanted the students to know that their well-being and their education are important to us all year long, not just during the school year,” said Winters.

More than 25 teachers and staff from Hassler and the KISD community jumped at the chance to help the 30 students whose parents were encouraged by the opportunity. Teachers donated materials, supplies and their time to help these students, and Ruben Gonzales, a bus driver in KISD, even offered transportation to those kids who needed rides.

Each day a local business treated students to lunch. Afterwards, they spent an hour learning math and reading lessons designed by the teachers specific to their grade levels. Winters’ favorite memory was the “Step-up to the Next Grade Level Day” where students could see what they would be learning in the upcoming year.

“It was great to see the students’ reactions when they realized they understood the material, and for some it sparked an interest in something new,” she said. “I cannot express how enthused the kids were. They were up for any challenge we gave them, and they really wanted to learn.”

Cindy Williams, a sixth grade math teacher at Doerre Intermediate, surprised the group when she offered to teach. Not only did she take the students preparing for sixth grade through a lesson, but also she brought Doerre t-shirts, new student packets, a map of the school, and a voucher for free school supplies donated by Champion Forest Baptist Church. Williams also spoke about the resources at Doerre, bullying initiatives, and what to expect in the upcoming school year.

Winters plans on continuing this program next summer and has already started brainstorming with teachers and community members on how to expand the program. Her goal is to one day see the Summer Lunch and Learn program take off throughout Klein with campuses across the district joining.

“This whole experience has really taken me by surprise. I could not believe the amazing reception and support I got for this program,” she commented. “I definitely plan on continuing this in the future!”

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