Anacortes students will have the chance this summer to participate in an academy that will introduce them to several aspects of STEM.

The Foundation for Academic Endeavors Summer Academy is a five-week program open to low-income children going into preschool to ninth grade in the Skagit Valley community.

Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch will qualify for the program, program coordinator Carol Rodin said.

Classes run 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, July 8 to Aug. 8, on the Skagit Valley College campus. The bus will pick up students in Anacortes on the corner of Q Avenue and 28th Street.

Normally, this program would cost $1,800 per student, but donations and grants bring the cost down to $60 per student (with a family maximum of $160), Rodin said. Anyone who needs to use the bus to transport the student from Anacortes will need to pay an extra $20 per student, she said. Staffing the buses with drivers and monitors means that price can’t be any lower, Rodin said.

“We have to charge that fee,” she said.

Payment plans are available. Costs cover the classes, with certified teacher, two meals each day and at least two field trips.

Registration for the program will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in the Anacortes Middle School commons.

The program started a few years ago for young students at a church in Mount Vernon, thanks to grant funding, Rodin said. At the time, it was just a few classrooms but the program kept growing.

The next year, it filled all five classrooms in the church and two tents in the yard, plus two classrooms in the church next door. Still, it kept growing.

So, the program moved to Skagit Valley College. This year, the bus transportation means the program is opening up to students from Anacortes for the first time, Rodin said.

In total, about 250 kids will attend the classes on the college campus.

The program helps close the gap in education for many students who would do nothing education-related during the summer. That gap causes a loss of knowledge, Rodin said.

“We call that the summer slide,” she said.


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