Burr Ridge Park District accademic programs a warmup for school
Jiries Fakhouri (left) of Burr Ridge and his sister Myah listen to instructor Michael Peterson talk about a book they will be reading during the Academic Enrichment Camp at the Burr Ridge Community Center June 18. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 20, 2012 1:55AM
Abbas Jaffary is one of those rare people who enjoys math. The good news is, he’s willing to let others in on the fun.
Jaffary is teaching one of several academic enrichment programs taking place this summer at the Burr Ridge Park District. The classes, which focus on everything from simple addition to writing essays for college, are a chance for students to catch up, keep up, or even get ahead during their summer break from school.
“It’s a bit of a warmup to get ready for the school year,” said Jaffary, a Burr Ridge resident who has led classes at the park district since 2006.
Academic Enrichment Camps, led by certified teacher Michael Peterson, offer students ages 6 to 11 instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic. Each student receives individual attention at his or her own level.
Like Jaffary, Peterson adds a healthy dose of fun to every lesson, with time spent outside as well as in the classroom.
“I tend to have fun, whatever I am doing,” Peterson said. “The kids like coming to see me.”
The first of two Academic Enrichment Camps is now under way, with a second set to begin on July 23.
Jaffary’s three sessions of Math Enrichment run July 31-Aug. 2, Aug. 6-9 and Aug. 13-16 for children ages 6 to 12.
Unlike school, where getting the right answer is the ultimate goal, Jaffary’s class is about learning the process of getting to the answer.
“There’s no pressure,” said Jaffary, who was named Moraine Valley College’s 2012 Adjunct Professor of the Year.
Burr Ridge Park District has programs to help older students, too. College Bound Writing and the ACT Prep course are both led by Peterson, who has experience teaching at all grade levels.
College Bound Writing meets Monday evenings and focuses on helping high school students learn to write college application essays.
“Aug. 1 is when the colleges release their essay questions,” Peterson said. So those who participate in the second session, beginning July 23, will know exactly what they need to write about.
As if preparing for college wasn’t hard enough, the ACT exam calls for a different style of writing. Peterson focuses on the writing required for the ACT test during the ACT Prep course, meeting Sunday mornings beginning July 22.
“We start out with a diagnostic exam and take it from there,” said Peterson, who instructs students on all four subjects of the ACT, plus writing.
Peterson, who has taught at the park district for two years, also offers private tutoring to all ages through his company, holisticlearningservices.com.
Superintendent of Recreation Lavonne Campbell said Peterson and Jaffary make it cool to be smart.
“They make it fun,” she said, and many students who take one class come back for more.
For more information about these and other programs at the Burr Ridge Park District, visit brparks.org or call (630) 920-1969.