Spring Break program a success at Washington St. Elementary

By Melissa Rollins, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

Project Intercept to Empower was held at Washington St. Elementary School April 17 – 20. Darlington County School District Safety, Security and Risk Management Technician Kim Nelson started the program for the district after a similar program through the Darlington Police Department was successful. Nelson said that she was thrilled with the program and the kids who signed up.

Kim Nelson plays kickball with some of the Project Intercept to Empower participants.

“I am very, very happy,” Nelson said. “I wish more parents would have brought their kids but it actually worked out because we had one adult for each child and that helped a bunch. It kept them focused and it kept them working.”
Nelson said that having one-on-one attention really makes a difference.

“Sometimes when you get to a point where you don’t understand something, you want to give up,” Nelson said. “Having that adult there with them kept them from giving up; that is what a lot of our kids need, that little extra push to say that they can do it.”

During the program, students worked on skills such as math and reading but also took time to have fun on their spring break.
Wednesday morning after reading with their mentor, the students worked on addition and subtraction problems before putting their skills to the test. Nelson gave each student a sheet of math problems and a thirty-minute time limit to finish as many as they could.

After the time was up, Nelson congratulated the two students who finished all of their problems in time; she also praised the other students for how hard they worked.

“They may not have finished in the time but at least they were trying and they didn’t quit,” Nelson said.
After the test, the group went outside to play kickball with their mentors. Many of the kids had never played the game before but seemed to enjoy themselves nonetheless.

Some of the mentors included ROTC students from Hartsville High School and DCSD Director of Teacher Quality, Meredith Taylor, along with Taylor’s husband Ray and Nelson’s husband, First Sergeant James Nelson.

“When officer Nelson came over to the district office, she and I started talking about this because I come over to Washington St. to help out a little bit and my husband is a mentor,” Taylor said. “We talked about bringing the program to Washington Street just to see how it would run this year. We are trying it out on spring break and it has been going really good. I have seen these kids do so many amazing things.”

Nearly a dozen students, most of them in first grade, took part in the program.

Author: mrollins

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