KSES builds bridges with outreach

Published 10:50 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Students from Kilby Shores Elementary School have a fun time during the school’s neighborhood outreach.

Many veteran educators will tell you that the best way to teach kids is to make sure they don’t realize they’re learning.

That was just about the case Tuesday when Kilby Shores Elementary School took the classroom to the streets at Nansemond Square.

In the neighborhood’s grassy square on a pleasantly sunny afternoon, students enjoyed educational games and their parents were able to interact one-on-one with their teachers.

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School Principal Oliver Seazante said the idea to reach out directly to the community came from her teachers.

“We had teachers who wanted to make more of a connection with the community,” she said. “We decided to bring the school to the neighborhood.”

The games were divided into two categories — one for the older students and one for younger ones — and targeted Standards of Learning skills.

“All the games we have set up for the most part are SOL-based, so they’re skills kids are going to be tested on,” teacher Annette Streat said.

“Reading and math — those are our focus areas.”

Terri Lynnstroud, another teacher, was excited to see the kids out in the open air and the sunshine and having fun with their parents and educators.

“It’s good to see all the kids out here having fun,” she said. “It’s good for the parents as well.”

Marion Stevenson, mother of Kilby Shores student Rickaiya Brown, gave the initiative good marks.

“I love this,” Brown said. “It really helps the kids — it’s really something else and they really enjoy it. It needs to be done more often.”

According to Seazante, that wish may just be granted. “This is our first time,” Seazante said. “I know next year we have already discussed doing it in the fall as well as the spring. That’s the goal.”

“They say it takes a village to raise a child, and you can see our village is right here.”

She thanked St. Paul Baptist Church, Southside Baptist Church, Target, Food Lion, Farm Fresh and Lipton for coming on board with organizational and financial support.

Southside’s Ted Bennett enjoyed interacting with the kids.

“We’ve brought games basically to help out with the community and a reward for them to study hard for their SOLs,” Bennett said.