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Nashua Community College partners with Power Scholars Academy

By Grace Pecci - Staff Writer | Aug 7, 2019

NASHUA – Officials at Nashua Community College have teamed up with those at the Nashua School District to provide young learners the opportunity to not only catch up on school lessons, but to also allow students to explore careers they may one day pursue.

This is the second year the college has paired up with the district’s Power Scholars Academy. The academy is a national program that aims to eliminate summer learning loss in students by providing educational opportunities in reading and math with lessons, field trips and coordination with other programs.

In Nashua, the academy is running in conjunction with the YMCA and 21st Century programs. The program serves below-grade-level students in grades 1-8.

The curriculum calls for students to spend half of their day doing classroom work before focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Students also stay active and participate in art activities throughout the day.

In the past, the school district offered a number of different summer programs, but Power Scholars Academy combines many of these strategies.

This summer, officials are working to provide students the opportunity to explore different careers by providing guest speakers for students in grades 5-8. The guest speakers have shared their experiences in STEM, criminal justice, culinary arts and business careers. Furthermore, college staff members have volunteered in Power Scholars classrooms this summer and while doing so, they have been able to offer students guidance for the future.

Power Scholars Academy students got to meet college professor and Computer Science Chair Vance Poteat, Criminal Justice Program Coordinator David Dinwoodie, Culinary Arts Program Chair John Knorr and School of Business Program Coordinator Trish DiLorenzo.

Casey Apfelberg, 21st Century Extended Day site coordinator and volunteer coordinator for the academy, said the college has played an important role by “educating young learners about what it means to be an engineer, or a chef, all the way to working in the criminal justice field.”

“Going off to a big university can sometimes feel unattainable or scary for students who may not come from backgrounds where this is the norm. (Nashua Community College) has given our scholars the chance to see what opportunities surround them within Nashua in a very attainable way,” Apfelberg said.

The college tailors to young students in other ways throughout the school year as well by offering three programs that allow high school students to earn college credit before graduation. The Running Start Program allows students to start taking college courses in high school. Depending on which school a student attends, he or she can take courses ranging from culinary arts to marketing to photography.

Students can also participate in the college’s Early College Program, which allows high school juniors and seniors to take college classes on campus at a reduced rate. There is also the option for students to take courses through the eStart program, which is an online program that offers college courses to high school students.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243, or at gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.

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