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Waynesboro Enrichment Academy providing education and recreation for kids

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 9:45 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) - In Waynesboro, elementary-age kids are having all kinds of experiences they might not otherwise have, thanks to some community partners. And, this recreational but educational experience is all free.

Waynesboro’s Enrichment Academy is open. It’s not a summer school, but children in grades K-5 are learning. Mornings are for reading, writing, and math.

“We know our students have experienced some learning loss during the pandemic,” said Waynesboro Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Cassell.

About three hours of common core subjects with lots of project and activity-based learning aim to reverse some of that loss. But, after lunch comes the fun with all kinds of classes with an arts theme.

“This is brand new,” said Waynesboro YMCA Executive Director Jeff Fife. “We did an enrichment camp for 40 kids pre-COVID, but when COVID hit we really needed to expand it into all four elementary schools.”

Nearly 500 kids are participating.

“It’s a perfect example of what a community can do when different groups come together for a common cause,” said Cassell.

Tuesday, Waynesboro Schools, the YMCA, Office on Youth, Wayne Theatre, and others had a chance to see their efforts in action.

“We’re seeing our students grow already, even with two weeks into the enrichment academy,” said Cassell.

“I love the fact that these kids normally be like... it’s summer, I gotta go into a school building? And they’re walking in every morning bouncing off the walls because they want to be here,” said Fife.

Enrichment Academy also includes bicycle safety, water safety, and internet safety.

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