APPLEGATE: Productive summer leads to an exciting school year

Published 8:49 am Monday, August 26, 2019

At Niles Community Schools, we are excited to start the new school year. We had a very productive summer of activities and we are looking forward to welcoming new and returning students on Tuesday, Sept. 3. While students were out of school, many took advantage of a number of learning activities offered during the summer by the district.

Niles Community Schools hosted a variety of engaging programming for students this summer, including Summer My Way, Meet Up and Eat Up and pop-up library events, Career and Technical Education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics camps; and kindergarten screenings were created with a goal of reducing summer learning loss. All in all, I can confidently say these events made for a productive summer for our students. The past few months have also laid the ground work in preparing for the year ahead.

We hosted a back-to-school kickoff event on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at the Niles Viking Stadium as the culminating event in our summer pop-up library series. All Niles students and families were invited to attend, providing our community with resources to enable continuous learning. Students each had the opportunity to choose a free book to take home and attendees were able to meet players from Niles High School athletic teams. Viktor the Viking and Clifford the Big Red Dog even made appearances at the all-district family event.

Through our continued partnership with Chartwell’s, Meet Up and Eat Up summer program and the United Way of Southwest Michigan, we were able to bring a total of 13 pop-up libraries to Niles elementary students throughout the summer. I express my sincere gratitude on behalf of the entire district to these organizations for helping our families make the most of summer reading opportunities.

While a child’s enthusiasm can be tough to match, our Viking staff is just as excited for the progress in the year to come. The bar has been set high for student success as the district and our families look ahead to the upcoming school year. Students across the district made great strides last year, and we hope to continue the forward development. Though there is still summer fun yet to be had, we look forward to welcoming students back to the comfort of a warm and welcoming educational environment.