Though not backed by its original grant that has since expired, Rogers University at Rogers Elementary Schoool is still going strong. The summer learning and enrichment program for students includes 50 students in first through fourth grades this summer. The program started June 13 and runs through July 22.
It is funded by the Marshalltown Community School District, Mid-Iowa Community Action and the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation.
Rogers Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen said Rogers University continues to be a special program and among the highlights of his career.
“The impact it has on the kids, the families and the neighborhood is special,” Jurgensen said.
Lead organizer of the program is Karina Hernandez of Mid-Iowa Community Action.
She said the school day is modeled after the school year as far as time and lunch. The mornings are dedicated to instruction, especially in reading and math. Every afternoon though students enjoy activities such as gardening with Iowa State University Extension, swimming lessons and Y Fit Kids at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA, trips to the Marshalltown Public Library, fishing and more. Several other community partners offer programming for Rogers University in the partnership.
Hernandez said not only does this program help lower summer learning loss, it also helps strengthen relationships between the school and Rogers families.
Most teachers are from Rogers, with the assistance from Iowa State University students. Several younger students also took part in a two week preschool/kindergarten camp to help them learn more about the school.
For the previous five years, Rogers University was funded by an Iowa Department of Education 21st Century Learning grant. It has been a model program in the state and even had visitors from Cedar Rapids Schools this week wanting to learn more about it.