Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

March 14, 2013

PROGRESS REPORT: Reading Garden to be in full bloom soon

Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE —  A proposed reading garden at East Side Elementary is the latest effort the school is undertaking to showcase its Applied Learning Community.

The school will break ground on the project 2 p.m. Tuesday at its 711 Fort Worth Street campus, with ALC students and their parents and teachers participating.

A $1,000 Jacksonville Education Foundation grant is helping to fund the Reading Garden. On Tuesday, foundation members will present the school faculty with commemorative bricks salvaged from the old school building, which was demolished nearly two years ago. (The new facility, an 85,000-square-foot structure built by Pogue Construction of McKinney was completed in time for the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year).

The school, which also has a pre-K program, has offered the ALC program to students in kindergarten and higher grades for three years. In 2012, East Side Learning community began the new school year with two kindergarten, two first grade and two second grade campuses.

According to a brochure about the program, undertaking projects allows students the ability to bring alive what they've learned through a “concrete, hands-on” method that encourages different levels of thinking.

“The goal is to encourage presentation skills including media, visual, oral and written communication, and utilize a variety of technologies. Applied Learning strives to involve students in tasks that are increasingly demanding and complex so that they acquire a foundation of real-world experiences to become motivated, successful, lifelong earners and community participants,” the brochure states.

Parents also participate in their child's education by agreeing to volunteer for 10 hours of service.

A new parent information meeting is planned in early May, with applications – available at the school office – for the East Side Applied Learning Community accepted through May 20, and are available at the school office.

Commitment letters from students already enrolled in the program are due April 19; the school will mail out acceptance letters at the end of May.