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Kernersville News: Model School: State Superintendent Visits Kernersville Elementary School

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Photo (Left): Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly Emory, left, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, right, stand with Kernersville Elementary School Principal Rebecca Carter, center, during a visit and tour of KES on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Linda Payne)

Photo (Right): Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly Emory, right, helps one of several Kernersville Elementary School students with her summer school assignment. Emory was joined by State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson for a tour of KES Wednesday morning. (Photo by Linda Payne)

By Linda Payne

Kernersville, NC - July 17, 2014 - State Superintendent of Public Instructions June Atkinson described Kernersville Elementary School (KES) as a "model school" on Wednesday while touring the various summer school programs taking place on campus.

Atkinson also fell in love with the school's atmosphere.

"You can't help but smile when you see the passion these teachers have for education and the smiles on each of the children's faces," Atkinson said. "This school is a role model when it comes to keeping students engaged in the learning process, and I am so glad I could be here today."

Atkinson reviewed three different teaching styles being used to help students in kindergarten through fifth grade stay one step ahead of the game this coming school year. She was joined by program coordinators, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School officials and the students themselves.

"Our goal today is to demonstrate the difference these programs are making in our community and to share the enthusiasm we have for learning with those around us," said Becky Carter, KES principal. "We are excited that our State Superintendent could be here today as we show off the different camps we have taking place this summer, including one that is back by popular demand and a brand new program."

This is the second year in a row KES has partnered with the Kernersville YMCA to offer their full day camp five days a week. Currently, there are 62 children enrolled in the camp, which features instruction in the morning, enrichment activities all afternoon and a field trip every Friday.

The BELL Program is geared toward helping third graders enhance their reading skills through small groups and interactive exercises. The children read aloud with their peers and study different reading skills with the help of today's technology. They also work with the instructors on individual reading needs.

The final program being offered at KES is the Explorers Program, which incorporates sports into a high-energy, interactive learning experience for children in first and second grades. It also focuses on math and reading skills.

"Studies show that children can slide in these skills over the summer, and we are trying to reverse those statistics," said Buddy Collins, WS/FCS School Board member. "Each one of these programs is receiving positive response from our children and their parents."

"All of these programs are truly spectacular and should be offered in more schools across our state," Atkinson added. "I am a firm believer that every child has the ability to learn and achieve success, and to know that these programs are available to those who need it the most is just wonderful."

"Not everyone learns at the same pace, so giving them this bonus time to achieve their goal is to be commended," said Atkinson as she spoke about how well attended every program is. "I'm also excited to see how many teachers volunteer to help every summer. That speaks volumes to the caliber of teachers in this district and the enthusiasm this community has for education as a whole."

Atkinson has been to Winston-Salem area high schools on various occasions throughout her career, but this was her first official trip to Kernersville. Atkinson said she can't wait to come back and be part of what she described as a "very supportive community."

"I love visiting small towns across North Carolina, and from what I've seen today, Kernersville is a very special place," Atkinson said. "I thank Principal Carter for the invitation to tour the school, and I can't wait to hear more about this school and its success in the future."