05/30/05 — Pat Peoples volunteers time for summer enrichment classes

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Pat Peoples volunteers time for summer enrichment classes

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Published in News on May 30, 2005 1:45 PM

When Pat Peoples began leading extra enrichment sessions at Eastern Wayne Elementary School, the curriculum facilitator didn't know the program would lead her to volunteering her time and efforts during the summer.

The program began in January through a grant from the N.C. Council of Teachers of Mathematics and focused on gender differences in learning among students. The voluntary program provides separate enrichment activities in reading and math for fourth and fifth grade students and is offered once a week.

Over the summer, she will offer eight sessions for interested students entering third, fourth, and fifth grades.

Ms. Peoples says she's excited about the program and its popularity. Currently, 120 math club students participate..

The hour-long sessions focus on teaching concepts by incorporating reading and math skills. The lessons are challenging, but fun, she says. Students also have homework, which gets parents involved.

Ms. Peoples says her goals include not only increasing academic achievement, but also strengthening the home to school connection and parent involvement. Already she has observed differences in learning styles among girls and boys. She said there is a lot of gender research focused on later years, but not much at the lower grades.

Though quiet at first, the girls began taking more risks and "have been trying things I don't think they would have before," Ms. Peoples said.

She plans on tracking the students' progress on standardized tests to see how the enrichment has helped.