Summer enrichment program an inspiration of local kids

After spending the past six weeks both studying and participating in recreation, more than 300 children in third to 12th grades let their energy out with a talent show and awards assembly finale.

The annual summer enrichment program offered through Inspiring Minds is held for Warren City Schools children, partly to help them retain over the summer lessons learned last school year, and also to introduce them to yoga, swimming, gardening, community service, cooking, arts and sports.

Jessica Winters, program administrator with Inspiring Minds, said the free program provides older students with college visits and industry tours for future career options, while younger children go on field trips or take tennis lessons.

Math and reading are focuses of the program. But the arts and performing arts are as important as academics and sports and provide enjoyment for the program participants, she said.

”This program focused on providing new experiences for them. Many have never taken tennis or swimming lessons before,” Winters said. ”The talent show is our way to showcase the students’ talents and accomplishments this summer.”

Groups of students from the four Warren K-8 school buildings and Warren G. Harding High School – sporting names such as The Sassy Six, The Divas, and The School Boys – entertained parents and friends with dancing, singing, stomping, solo musical numbers and skits.

Following the talent show, an awards ceremony was held.

Michael Jordan, a freshman at Harding, received a Leadership Award.

”I was very surprised when I got this. There were many high school students who helped at the program and were great leaders. Everyone showed they are good leaders,” Jordan said.

Tom Mock with the General Motors Foundation and General Motors Complex, one of the many program sponsors, said it is important to value education and learning.

”Math and science are important for the future engineers and leaders of tomorrow. I guarantee there are many great engineering candidates here,” Mock said.

Mayor Doug Franklin, who presented several awards, said the program is about keeping minds active and learning, bodies active and physically fit, and preparing for success in life.

”Together we are sending a message that as a community, we care about our children and young adults and want them to have all the advantages we can give them to be successful in life … These young men and women who show enthusiasm and passion for learning and the desire to better themselves are proof that our community will be in good hands,” Franklin said.