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500 students attend Brookfield Academy's Summer Days Program

Brookfield Academy students Peyton Zeiler, 8, and Riya Singh, 9, demonstrate how their Lego “batter” robot works. The students participated in the academy's Lego Robotics class, a summer program.

Brookfield Academy students Peyton Zeiler, 8, and Riya Singh, 9, demonstrate how their Lego “batter” robot works. The students participated in the academy's Lego Robotics class, a summer program. Photo By Staff photo by John Rasche

July 29, 2014

Brookfield Academy's Summer Days Program is far from being a summer day care.

With more than 200 classes and 500 students each summer, Brookfield Academy provides an entertaining and educational summer for the area's children.

Classes range from traditional courses like math and reading to more unique opportunities like Hip Hop, Creative Writing and Film Studies.

About 40 percent of summer program students come from other schools in the region, said Julie D'Arruda, Brookfield Academy's summer program director.

"We have a very good retention rate (for summer students)," D'Arruda said. "Many of them enroll for the school the next year."

Seventy-five percent of the summer school teachers are from Brookfield Academy. The remaining 25 percent are certified teachers hired outside the school for the summer, D'Arruda said.

The programs are designed for students of all grade levels, from age 4 to age 18.

Many of the academy's programs can be used for high school and college credit, D'Arruda said.

Programs are offered through two-week and one-week classes, Monday through Friday, at the academy's Patriots Hall, 3215 North Brookfield Road.

Most of the courses cost around $180.

"We're not an inexpensive program, but we're also not just a day care," D'Arruda said. "But the kids take a lot from these classes."

Riya Singh, 9, took multiple classes over the summer, including The Joy of Jewelry Making and Lego Robotics.

"Most of my friends are in classes too, but we're not always in the same class," Singh said. "But I always have lunch with them."

The Lego Robotics course precedes the FIRST Lego League, a STEM program during the school year.

Each day, Riya and her partner built a different Lego robot in an hour. The creations are computer programmed using software designed to train a "brain" component that performs certain tasks.

"I didn't know you could program Legos like this," said 8-year-old Peyton Zeiler, who also attended the Lego class. "I think it's great. I just love Legos."

Brookfield Academy's summer courses ended July 25, but it won't be long until the school plans for next year's classes, D'Arruda said.

For more information about the academy, visit www.brookfieldacademy.org.

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