Summer school and summer bridge workbooks may have been a reality for many public school students in the past. Now various counties offer Summer Bridge Programs for rising high school students, including Jackson, Putnam, Overton, White, Clay and Warren County.
Highlands funds the programs through a 10 thousand dollar grant for each district. The students can join the program for free.
Kevin Thomas is the Academic Career Coach at Jackson County schools.
“I have a Math teacher and an English teacher that both teach freshmen. and we try to do something along those lines skilled based each day.” Thomas said, “On the career part, I line up trips to go and visit manufacturing places, just to let them see what is being produced in our area and how it is produced.”
The students benefit more from seeing real-life career options than reading about it at home, Thomas said.
“I think it’s much more beneficial for them to visually see what’s out there, and you know, what this job really is,” Thomas said. “It is one thing for somebody to tell you, its another thing for you to see it.”
Thomas said he wants his students to focus on the career options in the area.
“I do think it alleviates some of the pressure, just simply because we are trying to get them to see earlier that maybe four-year school is not for everybody,” Thomas said. “Not everybody wants to be a doctor or a lawyer, but there are a lot of things out there for you.”
Kim Upton teaches Family and Consumer Science at Clay County High School.
“It was actually just focusing on things you need to know about high school. Making that transition from junior high student to the more independent high school student,” Upton said. “So we focused on skills they would need in high school. We actually did tours of the building, so they would feel comfortable when they got here. We even practiced opening lockers.”
Putnam County allows rising freshmen and sophomores in their two-week program. The six counties have varying dates and lengths of their programs.