New Pal schools offer summer enrichment programs


NEW PALESTINE — Summer is often a time for remediation, that is, classes designed to bring struggling students up to grade level, to reinforce skills or to gain academic confidence for more challenging work ahead. But officials at the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County wanted to offer its students more, so they developed a plan to offer enrichment classes in addition to summer remediation.

“The idea was to give students opportunities to take classes that are different,” Miles Hercamp, director of instructional services for the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County, said.

Hercamp put out a call to teachers who might be interested in a summer teaching position.

“We asked them, ‘what classes do you want to offer?’” Hercamp said. “Teachers put in requests.”

What distinguishes New Pal’s eight summer enrichment programs from other summer school offerings is the range and variety of classes being offered.

From June 7-11, sixth, seventh and eighth graders can take a week-long class on Bookmaking. Students will learn how to make a book, journal or sketchbook using a variety of bookbinding techniques. The camp offers a safe space to sketch, write or journal inner thoughts, feelings and inspirations.

June 14-18 offers a robotics class for third through sixth graders or the back-by-popular-demand “Block, Paper, Scissors Art Camp” for grades one through five. Students in the robotics camp will work cooperatively to build a working robot that can complete an assigned task for a competition on the final day of camp. Students in the art camp will engage in a variety of visual art activities involving the use of various media in two, three, or four dimensions.

Another pair of innovative choices are available for June 21-25. Students in 1st through 4th grades can sign up for “Enchanted Engineering” where traditional fairy tales will lead students through critical thinking activities and problem-solving to complete tasks. Students in grades 2 through 5 can participate in “Reader’s Theatre” and work in small groups to perform different plays throughout the week. The session also includes creating original scripts.

Enrichment camps extend into July with Coding for Fun from July 5-9 for grades 3, 4 and 5; Cooking Camp for grades 3, 4, 5 and 6; and Automation and Educational Robotics for grades 5, 6 and 7.

Clark Fralick, the Sugar Creek Elementary art teacher who leads the Blocks, Paper, Scissors camp, is happy to be offering what he calls a child-centered arts camp.

“The focus is on creativity and not on creating certain projects,” Fralick said. “We give the children space to be creative.”

Each camp session is $120 with a minimum of 10 students per class. Some camps offer morning and afternoon sessions, and Hercamp promises to do his best to accommodate as many children as possible with additional sessions if necessary.

“Students can sign up for as many classes as they like,” Hercamp said.

Fralick thinks the camps empower children.

“Anytime you can help a child feel their ideas are important,” Fralick said, “and show them they can create some amazing things and share those ideas, it has an impact.”

For more information, visit and click on the Summer Enrichment Camp Registration link.