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Students and parents in the library of Lakewood Elementary School in Stephensburg might have looked like they were making orange juice Thursday, but they were discovering details of mummification.
Lakewood staff began hosting a summer reading program Thursday in the school’s library. The program continues on July 12, 23 and 24, and Principal Shelee Clark said more parents are welcome to sign up.
The sessions are focusing on the countries of Egypt and Mexico, and third- and fourth-graders and their parents are learning about items and practices that came from the countries through reading, food and other activities.
Thursday’s session was about Egypt, and to learn about the practice of embalming, which came from the country, the students “mummified” oranges.
Students and their parents partially opened the oranges and spooned out the flesh inside. They dried out the inside of the skins, filled them with cinnamon, salt and baking soda, and wrapped them in toilet paper and plastic bags. After a few weeks in a warm place, they should appear to be “preserved,” Clark said.
Lisa Nelson and her daughter, Kaylee, and son, Ethan, were busy coloring a flag of Egypt. Nelson said Kaylee enjoys participating in other activities provided by the school’s Family Resource Center.
“I think it keeps their minds active and gives them something educational to do” during the summer months, she said.
Theresa Ragsdal was happy to keep her daughter involved in reading. Her daughter, Samantha, was interested in seeing “the whole thing,” but she really wanted to read.
“I like to read a lot of times,” she said.
In the upcoming sessions, students and their parents will play marbles and make jewelry for the Egypt lessons, and learn about the music and food of Mexico, she said. They’re also making a Chia pet, which originated in Mexico, a fact Clark wasn’t aware of until she and other staff members began planning for the sessions.
“So we’re learning things as we go along, too,” she said.
This is the first year for the program, and Clark hopes if it’s popular, it will continue into the school year and allow for students and parents to learn more about other cultures. With the long summer, Clark wanted to keep learning going even as school was out.
“We felt it was important to try to bring the kids and the families in” and to promote literacy, she said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or email@example.com.