Ohio University Academy of Excellence: Summer 2016
From: Dr. Martha Evans, Assistant Professor – Early Childhood Education
This is my first year working for Ohio University and planning the Academy of Excellence, but it is my plan to begin a process that can be continued from year to year, celebrating the differences of ethnic groups which have contributed to making our country great.
The Academy of Excellence will focus on the culture of Greece this year. We will investigate the contribution of ancient Greece to American society. What we will discover is the importance this early society plays in how we function today. Each day, our group will explore a different theme. Various activities will support these themes and students will be able to choose what to do each day. On Monday, we will teach children general concepts about life in ancient Greece. This will include how Greek families interacted, especially between children of different age groups. Older children will be allowed opportunities for mentoring and guiding younger ones while younger children will be taught to appreciate the wisdom of the older youth and respect their advice. Teaching students a positive interaction between age groups will benefit all and allow students the option of working together.
Each day, themes such as literature and drama, foods, architecture, government, myths, Olympics, education and philosophy, art, and culture will drive activities. Students will be taught age-appropriate information about Greece, often with authentic presenters and interactive approaches. Following our introduction of the theme, students will have the opportunity to choose activities. The child will have the choice to move freely between stations and explore various enrichment events.
I decided that since children typically have several t-shirts and we are aiming at experiential learning, that students would wear togas during our Greek experience. Children should wear comfortable attire and we will drape them with togas over their clothing upon arrival. Since our togas will be worn at both camps, they will not stay with the children.
Ancient Greece has influenced our lives today so thoroughly that one would be hard-pressed to find any area in which it is absent. We have this opportunity to honor our ancestry by learning to respect their contribution. In future years planning this academy, it is my hope to recognize other cultures with similar camps.
I look forward to meeting you and working with your children.