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SUN Program offers summer enrichment


Reynolds Middle students work on academics, expose themselves to new subjects

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Jourdan Barron, a sixth-grader, transforms her face into a tiger's during theater make-up class.

Cooking, theater make-up and upcycled art.

These are just a handful of the summer 2014 enrichment classes Reynolds Middle School students are taking through the Metropolitan Family Service SUN Program.

As eighth-grader Mulah Klay chops onions for a pasta ratatouille in cooking class through a partnership with Oregon State University’s SNAP education, Jourdan Barron, a sixth-grader, transforms her face into a tiger’s with stage makeup in theater make-up class.

Nearby, teacher Jonathan Wolloch demonstrates how to collage reused materials to create buttons and magnets.

“These kids may come from tough neighborhoods, but we want them to know there are still a lot of opportunities,” said Ben Baldizon, a SUN Site Manager through Metropolitan Family Service.

Baldizon attended a private school in Guatemala but said he thought students at Reynolds Middle School had more class offerings and opportunities than he remembered having.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Eighth-grader Mulah Klay chops onions in cooking class for a pasta ratatouille.

Principal Stacy Talus also sees the middle school and SUN Program as a seamless blend that has expanded resources for students, noting that 90 percent of Reynolds Middle School students qualified for free and reduced lunch during the 2012-2013 school year.

From 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, middle school students enrolled in the program spend mornings focused on academics — math in particular — and afternoons dedicated to enrichment, surveying a variety of elective courses.

Baldizon noted that with 14-16 students per class, the summer programs offered a different atmosphere for kids. The full day of programming lasting the standard school day ensures parents don’t have to fret about making arrangements for their kids.

The programming not only incorporates Reynolds Middle teachers, but brings back high school volunteers such as juniors Nancy Martinez and Felix Cordero.

“It’s nice to see the new upcoming sixth-graders and get in touch with my old teachers again,” Martinez said, noting that she and a friend met in the program as incoming sixth-graders and now volunteer together.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Teacher Jonathan Wolloch shows students how to collage reused materials for buttons and magnets.