Smackover-Norphlet School District looking to create parent resource guide
SMACKOVER — In an effort to connect students outside of school hours, the Smackover-Norphlet School District is working to create a list of activities open to students.
Through a form on the district’s blog and contacting local organizations, the district is looking to create this list so that there’s one place parents can go to if they’re looking for activities their students can participate in after school or during breaks.
Part of what is inspiring this, curriculum director Jennifer Lee said is the idea that when students are involved in the community and have more positive role models in their lives, they’ll do better in school.
“As a parent, it can be tough,” Lee said. “It’s like ‘well, what can my child do after school?’ or if they’re new to the community. Well, we want to have a list where we can go ‘well, Candy Philips is involved in Boy Scouts for our area and if you want your child involved, here’s her contact information. If you’re interested in Camp Fire, go contact these people because we have Camp Fire right here in Smackover and Norphlet. If you’re interested in Girl Scouting, contact them. If you’re interested in Pee Wee sports, here.’”
Some of the examples Lee gave of programs include scouting groups, Camp Fire, community athletics, summer reading programs, tutoring, fine arts, summer breakfast and lunch programs, and faith-based programs.
Lee said the school is aware of some options for students, but want more organizations and more information to be included in the compiled list.
“I’m in the midst of sending out an email to a bunch of non-profits,” Lee said. “We’re not just limiting it to just Smackover, Norphlet, Mt. Holly. We’re sending it out. We want to get this and we want to include people.”
Once compiled, with an early deadline of Dec. 31, the list of opportunities will go out on the school district’s blog and will continue to be updated throughout the year.
Superintendent John Gross said part of the hope is that students who are more involved in activities over extended breaks from school will lose less of the information the average student loses when out of school.
According to, the Northwest Evaluation Association, a student can lose anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of what they learned during the school year while on summer vacation. However, one of the commonly cited ways to decrease that loss is to keep a student active with a variety of activities over summer break.
“If we can do that then we might be able to limit some of the regres-
sion that students have during the summer,” Gross said. “If we can have reading programs and library programs, there’s so much that the kids lose over the summer, but if we can do something like this and get these kids involved in something then maybe we won’t have to go back and review so much when schools starts next year and move our classes forward more.”
When it comes to the afterschool programs, Lee said she hopes having more activities could give students more role models in their lives to check that they’re doing homework or making good test scores.
“We know that when a kid is connect, they will do better because you will have more adults who are caring about them ,” Lee said. “We’ve been hearing a lot about the power of five, where most successful children have at least five caring adults in their life. We want their teacher to be one of those caring adults, we want their parents to be one of those caring adults, grandparents. But if a child doesn’t have that, maybe a coach will be. Maybe one of the coaches at pee wee sports will be like ‘Hey, how’d your spelling test go this week,’ ‘Hey, how’s your science project going.’ The more they have, the better support they’re going to have.”
Michael Shine may be reached at 870-862-6611 or [email protected]doradonews.com. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook @MichaelAZShine for updates on Union County school news.