Saturday, August 04, 2001


Grant aids enrichment program

        Summerbridge Cincinnati, an academic enrichment program, received a boost from Fifth Third Bank.

        Through the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust, the bank provided a $100,000 grant for the program, which operates six-week summer sessions at Cincinnati Country Day in Indian Hill and Seven Hills in Madisonville.

        The program benefits middle-school students who have the skills and motivation to succeed in high school and college.

        Older students, interested in teaching careers, instruct small, diverse classes in writing, literature, math, science, arts, musicand theater, along with field trips.

        The focus is to develop leadership skills and self-esteem.

        “Of the six classes graduating from summer sessions through last summer, 85 percent have entered college-prep programs as freshmen in high school and more than 25 members of the Summerbridge faculty, comprised of high-school and college students, have elected to pursue professional teaching careers,” said William Hopple, co-president of Summerbridge Cincinnati.

        The program started in 1993 at Cincinnati Country Day with 50 sixth- and seventh-graders. It has spread to include 150 students averaging 20-25 students from sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

        Connie Ferguson of Bond Hill was among the first Summerbridge class in 1993 while a student at Cincinnati Country Day. She is pursuing a degree in education as a sophomore at Northern Kentucky University and has taught in the program for three years.

        “I think it is a good program for students who like to learn,” Ms. Ferguson said. “We try to teach them to go to a good college prep school.”

        Students for the program are recruited from different schools, mostly in deprived areas. They must get a teacher's recommendation and permission from parents to enter program.

        Each host school provides a director who is part of the school faculty. A school-year program director provides mentoring and tutoring during the school year for “Summerbridgers.”

        The Fifth Third grant will be used to support internships and training for Summerbridge faculty. Tuition, transportation and materials are all free to students.


        NORWOOD — The fire department purchased a thermo-imaging camera this week, and after in-service training the equipment was put on line Wednesday.

        Assistant Fire Chief Mike Raleigh said the equipment will enable firefighters to find hot spots in a building within four to five minutes.

        “This is just what we need,” Mr. Raleigh said. “It is a lifesaver. Once inside a building, any victims trapped in the building will show up on the screen.”


        A retreat for women, “The Real You; Getting It Back,” will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the Este Conference Center, 6270 Este Ave., Winton Place.

        Topics include step by step tools for discovering your purpose and destiny in life.

        “This retreat is for serious-minded women hungry for renewal and searching for the tools to overcome mediocrity and fulfill their destiny for life,” said motivational speaker, Zakia McKinney, one of the speakers at the event.

        For more information, call 561-7353 or 681-7775.

        Allen Howard's column runs Saturdays. Call: 768-8362. Mail: The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.


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