“Beyond the Bell” Helps Pequea Students Learn After School Hours

Instead of sitting at home after school watching TV with their parents still at work, students can participate in an academic enrichment program at Pequea Elementary School.

This enrichment program in the Penn Manor School District is a fun and, most importantly, a safe place for students from third to sixth grade to be with their friends after school until their parents get off work. They can go learn things they enjoy.

“The Pequea PTO was looking for someone to teach foreign language,” said Daliah Ferko. “I am from Germany and speak this language fluently. I wanted to give the children an opportunity to explore a foreign language before  they get to middle school.”

This year they will be offering Spanish, French, German, art, creative writing and poetry, quilting and sign language. Each class runs for usually eight weeks long. The students go once a week for an hour at a time. Each time they do, they try and offer more subjects than the last time.

“I truly believe that at a young age they (the students) can learn these different languages so much easier,” said Ferko. “I wish we could offer foreign languages in elementary school.”

“I would love to offer more classes. Maybe in Chinese, dancing or even theater,” said Ferko

So far 72 students are enrolled and the program will run until December 14.

This enrichment program is supported and funded by the PTO and Ferko has been the chairman for the “Beyond the Bell” since the Spring of 2009. Many others, like high school students and parents, volunteer their time to help this program run smoothly.

“We would not be able to do this without the help of our wonderful volunteers,” said Ferko.

“I am working with Mrs. Sallie Bookman at the high school. She usually gets in contact with some students who would love to teach the younger kids, and at the same time they can fulfill their community (service) hours,” said Ferko.

This gives them the opportunity to learn and have fun with different academics.

By Liz Lawrence