King’s Academy, July 21, 2007 – The second Summer Enrichment Program (SEP), held at King’s Academy from July 7 to July 21, drew students from across Jordan together to the school’s campus for two weeks of educational activities, English and IT lessons, sports, and good times.
While much of the format from last year’s inaugural SEP program stayed the same, there were a few new additions, most notably more students, more activities, and more counselors. This year, 75 students from sixth to ninth grade lived, worked and played with 14 counselors from the United States, Hong Kong, and Afghanistan. As in last year’s program, their mornings were spent in the classroom learning English and computer skills. Afternoons were the time for educational activities such as skits, art class and sports.
The SEP students ate meals family-style in the King’s Academy dining hall, and watched movies that were screened in the school’s auditorium. They went on excursions to Umm Qais and the newly inaugurated Amman Children’s Museum, and they participated in the first Madaba Youth Festival.
“Most students were returning from SEP 2006, so they just stepped right back into the routine,” said SEP Coordinator Salwa Manaja. “New students took a few days to acclimatize and once they did, they were really involved and enjoyed all the classes. During the first couple nights of SEP, we would come across a few younger students crying from being homesick, but by the end of the program, all of the children were crying at the prospect of leaving campus to go home,” she added.
Ms. Manaja also noted that having the school’s operations up and running before the students were here greatly facilitated the program—the school’s staff took care to ensure the safety and comfort of the students during the two weeks.
Ms. Manaja led the program this year along with Student Life Coordinator (and history department faculty member) Tiffany Norman and Academy Advising Coordinator Huoi Trieu. Teachers for SEP included two of the SEP counselors and several of King’s Academy’s full-time faculty members.
“The counselors were fantastic,” said Ms. Manaja, speaking about the recent high school graduates, who gave up part of their summer to come to Jordan. “They gave all they had to the kids and the program, and without them, SEP would not have succeeded.”
SEP organizers are already looking forward to next year, when a new group of sixth graders will be selected to join this year’s younger classes (who will be in 7th and 8th grade) for SEP 2008. The 2008 winter SEP program, held over a weekend in January, will be comprised of only sixth and seventh graders.