Natalie Roig is making plans for this summer. She wants to give summer school a new meaning.
The Paul W. Bryant High School art teacher is proposing to teach two courses as part of the Tuscaloosa City Schools' first-ever summer enrichment program. TCS is implementing the new program as part of an effort to combat Summer Slide, which occurs when students lose skills in math and reading if they are not engaged in learning during the summer. This issue especially affects students in low-income families.
"In the summertime, students don't need to stop and expect to start up again with their academics," Roig says. "If we can bring them in during the summer and have them continue, that would be the best for them."
Her course ideas include Experimental Art Camp for grades three through five and A Book of Artistic Adventures for grades K through 2.
"I absolutely love working with little kids," Roig says. "I teach high school all year. I thought, 'Why not do some elementary?'"
Roig says Experiment Art Camp will challenge students to take art to the next level.
"We will break the traditional boundaries and do experimental art projects," Roig says. "Art projects will be interactive and will have across the curriculum connections. Students will be asked to create work each day with an open mind and heart, all while still learning."
Her proposed course for A Book of Artistic Adventures will empower students to create artwork corresponding with reading activities for younger students.
She says she hopes to provide students with the same types of care and attention she was given by her teachers growing up, which inspired her to enter education.
"Teaching is my purpose," Roig says. "If I was not passionate about it, I should not be in this career field. I'm wanting to constantly be around and influence kids because I want them to have the best."
Roig encourages her colleagues to submit a proposal to teach this summer. If a teacher's idea is selected, he or she would teach eight half-day sessions Monday through Thursday and receive a $750 stipend.
"We should want to have everything be better for the future, and not just the right now," Roig says. "We need to think about the kids and put the kids first. If we can do something to better them, then why not do it? Why not provide the kids with the best that need it the most?"
If you are a TCS teacher or college professor interested in teaching in a K-12 environment, submit your proposal to teach and view the FAQs at www.tuscaloosacityschools.com.
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