Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2013

SALISBURY — Whether they’re going into sixth grade or kindergarten, students at one summer enrichment program can tell you a lot about wind.
At Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, between fun field trips and activities, they learned about wind and clean energy through research and hands-on projects.
On Friday, students in each grade level presented what they have learned this summer for their families and community leaders.
Kindergartners recited a poem called, “Who has seen the wind?” First-graders demonstrated how the wind moves various objects, like leaves, flags and pinwheels.
Students in second and third grade talked about what they had learned about the development of wind turbines for energy production.
“The turbines contain parts such as the nacelle, generator, gearbox, output shaft and other parts,” one student said. “These parts help to turn the wind into electric power.”
Fourth-graders shared their studies of the history and cultural significance of wind chimes.
Students in fifth and sixth grade imagined themselves as various workers involved in manufacturing, developing, operating and maintaining a windmill.
Christian Morgan, 10, a rising fifth-grader, dressed as an electrical engineer for his presentation. His parents helped him make a costume with a “safety vest” made out of an orange shirt and yellow duct tape.
“My job is to develop tests, supervise the manufacturing test runs, and use electrical parts such as electric motors, lighting and wiring,” he said.
After the presentation, Christian said he liked the enrichment camp this summer.
“I think it’s fun taking trips and learning about different things,” he said.
Tim Morgan, Christian’s father, said he thinks the program is excellent.
“Every day, he came home enthusiastic about what he did,” Morgan said. “I, too, learned a lot about wind.”
Morgan’s daughter Mary, a rising third-grader, also attended the enrichment camp. He said he’d like to enroll them both again next year.
Jaylinn Sparkman, 11, a rising sixth-grader, pointed out the two posters he helped create. One was about wind chimes, and the other featured handmade pinwheels.
“It was pretty fun,” Sparkman said. “We got to do a lot of activities. We got to make windmills and stuff.”
The summer enrichment program aims to help children keep up their learning over the summer while school is out.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all work and no play for the kids at Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church.
The participating students in kindergarten through sixth grade take trips to the library on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, they go to the movies, and on Fridays, they hold activities like bowling at Woodleaf Lanes or playing outside at the park.
“We work on the whole child, not just part of the child,” said Jean Lowery, director and coordinator. “We have fun, and they are well-mannered. One of the first things I stress is respect.”
The church also runs an after-school program during the school year. The main goal of that program, Lowery said, is to help students with their homework and review what they learned in school that day.
At the end of the presentation Friday, Lowery thanked the Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation for helping provide funding for the program. She invited David Setzer, its executive director, to come up and speak.
“Our foundation is delighted to be a part of this, as we have been for six years,” Setzer said. “We are delighted to see that the money is well spent.”
Paul Woodson, mayor of Salisbury, also watched the presentation and said a few words Friday.
“I think this enrichment program is unbelievable,” Woodson said. “I think our public schools could learn something from this.”

Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.