572 students engaged in enriching educational activities
BILLERICA – Shawsheen Valley Technical School was a hub of vibrant activity this summer as a record-breaking 572 students participated in the eagerly anticipated ‘Summer at Shawsheen’ program. With a diverse array of offerings that included vocational-technical courses, STEM classes, sports clinics, and academic enrichment courses, the program is a testament to Shawsheen’s commitment to providing enriching community education experiences beyond the traditional focus of grades 9-12.
Photo: Shawsheen’s volleyball clinic is pictured playing ‘dead fish,’ a serving game for all skill levels.
“The remarkable turnout speaks volumes to the growing popularity and appeal of Shawsheen’s summer program,” said Director of Communications & Community Partnerships Allison Cammarata. “Shawsheen is committed to keeping outreach programs such as this a prominent cornerstone of our community’s educational landscape.”
Summer Programming Coordinator Kevin Bloom anticipated having a busy summer being the first year back without any covid restrictions. He shared that within the first 24 hours of registration being open, more than 200 students enrolled and eight programs sold-out.
“Our previous registration record stood at 427 students,” said Bloom. “We surpassed that in the first six weeks of registration.”
To accommodate the demand, Bloom added additional classes and clinics to maximize student involvement. Staple programs like Computer Programming/Web Design, Video Game Development, Cupcake & Cookie Decorating, Everything Automotive, Digital Photography, and Summer Explore drew large participation, and newer courses such as Middle School Drawing, Summer Adventure Club, and Drama injected a fresh energy into the program, which helped to accommodate more attendees.
“Elementary, middle, and high-school students were all involved in hands-on experiential learning,” said Bloom. “Course content spanned diverse disciplines, encompassing activities like learning how to rebuild engines, charcoal and multi-medium artistry, creating video game characters, and acting fundamentals.”
“Even amidst the summer’s hot and humid weather, our sports clinics attracted enthusiastic participants who showcased immense energy while honing skills and engaging in friendly competition,” said Bloom.
Clinics were held for baseball, basketball, volleyball, and cheering, and drew a combined total of 331 participants.
‘Summer at Shawsheen’ extends beyond Shawsheen Tech’s five district towns — Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington — welcoming participants on a first-come-first serve basis. This year, the program welcomed students from 15 different towns, highlighting its widespread appeal.
Students had the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art technical shops and athletic facilities while meeting teachers, coaches, and students.
“Without our teaching and coaching staff, as well as our dedicated high school students, this program would not be possible,” said Bloom. “The people are what makes Shawsheen such a great place to be.”
Shawsheen Valley Technical School offers community programs throughout the year with a diverse array of educational options that include adult education, afterschool project explore, pool programs, and the aforementioned ‘Summer at Shawsheen’.
“Shawsheen’s commitment to community education remains dynamic and progressive,” said Cammarata. “Shawsheen will continue its role as an essential institution for community education, for learners of all ages pursuing personal, professional, and academic growth.”
About Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational School District: Established in 1965, Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School District (SVRVTSD) is a student-centered public institution serving the five member towns of Billerica, Bedford, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington. Shawsheen Valley Technical High School serves more than 1,300 students in grades 9-12 and is “Dedicated to Excellence in Education”, integrating academics with more than 20-vocational-technical career pathways.