Free program aimed at district’s youngest students

SOUTHBRIDGE โ€” The public school district will offer a new, free summer program for its youngest students, providing them some meals, fun, and support on a daily basis through the first half of the summer.

In a press release, Southbridge Public Schools announced the creation of the Elementary Summer Learning Lab, which will begin next month. The summer program is open to all students who will enter kindergarten, first grade, or second grade in one of Southbridge’s public elementary schools in the fall.

School officials said these are critical transition years for students who may be moving to a new school or experiencing school for the first time. The aim of the Elementary Summer Learning Lab is to prepare students for a successful school year by setting a strong foundation of literacy, positive behavior, and an understanding and appreciation of their own and others’ culture. Students enrolled in the district’s dual language program will receive both English and Spanish instruction.

“We are excited to offer a summer program for our early learners that combines fun with hands-on lessons and activities to encourage skill-building and positive school behaviors,” Southbridge Receiver/Superintendent Jeffrey Villar stated in a press release. “This program supports our school district’s Turnaround Plan and encourages the family involvement critical to our success.”

The free program, which includes breakfast, lunch, and transportation, will take place in all three Southbridge elementary schools. The kindergarten and first grade programs will take place at Eastford Road School. Second grade students will attend the program at the school they are slated to attend in the fall, either Charlton Street School or West Street School. The summer learning lab will take place Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., beginning June 25 and running through July 25.

For more information, parents may contact their child’s school or the Southbridge Public School Central Office at 508-764-5414. Information is available at the district’s Family Welcome Center at 25 Cole Ave.

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