WEST ORANGE, NJ - After a successful three weeks that provided for 456 students in athletics, academics and the arts, the 2019 West Orange School District Summer Enrichment Program recently came to a close.

The enrichment program began more than years ago as a way to provide music, art and educational opportunities for students just completing second-through-eighth grades. PTAs have raised money to provide scholarships, and teachers have long enjoyed meeting students from across the school district. The program also helps to bridge the summer gap and help students hone their musical skills in orchestra and band.

The wide variety of programs is split into “prep” for the lower grades and “regular” for the upper grades. High school students volunteer their time to assist teachers and students.

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Saxophone, clarinet, oboe, Symphonic, percussion, horn, violin, cello, trombone, violin and viola represent specialty classes, along with band and orchestra. There is even a Piano Lab class for burgeoning keyboardists and songwriters.

Dance, drama and musical theater offer other performance art options. The popular art classes include painting, crafts, ceramics, art design and calligraphy.

Technology, Math Quest and computers provided academic enrichment, and Chinese was also back this summer, offering an introduction to Mandarin with crafts, cooking, culture and characters. ESL students continued working on their language skills.

Physical fitness, Gym Jamboree and Baseball/Softball rounded out the courses available.

Scott Tomlin (St. Cloud music teacher), Denise Makri-Werzen (WOHS Nurse) and Maxwell Jean-Baptiste ran the program from the West Orange High School Nurse’s Office. The school was a flurry of activity as youngsters changed classes like long-time high school students.

“It takes a lot of work to get the program up and running, but we’ve got it figured out,” said Tomlin, who has been running the program as Assistant Director for five years. “I’ve been part of the Enrichment Program since its beginning, and we all love doing it. All the teachers want to come back every year.”

Newly appointed Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Cascone visited the program and said he was impressed with not only the offerings, but the students as well.

"Our students were so respectful and easy to talk to," he said.

Each program works on a presentation for parents and students, whether a dance, musical performance, slideshow, or activity. Parents are invited to attend the performances, which took place throughout the last week of the program.

See more photos from Summer Enrichment here.