From forensic science to filmmaking, new summer enrichment program offers unique learning opportunities

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Madison City Schools is introducing a new summer enrichment program for rising 5th through 9th graders.

Called Summer @ the Den, it begins June 2 at Liberty Middle School.

Assistant Principal Dr. Kary Roberts says the idea came from the LMS Parent Advisory Committee.

"One of the things we've heard from students and parents is they would like an opportunity during the summer to enhance the learning that takes place during the regular school year," Dr. Roberts says.

Just don't confuse the new program with summer school.

While students who need extra help or preparation in core academic areas can certainly find it during Summer @ the Den, the program's offerings go far beyond the typical subjects to include courses in social development, sports, civic engagement and more.

For example, along with Algebra Readiness and AP World History Kickstart, there are also courses in Geocaching, Football Fundamentals, Forensic Science Investigations and Movie Making.

One course, called Fear Less, is for girls only and focuses on helping young women navigate adolescence with self-confidence and strength.

A similar course, called Brave Heart, will be held for boys.

There are more than 40 classes total.

Dr. Roberts says the idea for all these courses began with LMS teachers.

"We introduced the concept to them and asked them to think about what they were passionate about. What was the theme they wanted to teach students that maybe they didn't have time to teach in the regular classroom?"

The program is open to any area student, whether from inside or outside the Madison City School District, who will enter the 5th through 9th grade in Fall 2015.

All courses will be taught by LMS teachers, although officials eventually hope to bring in more teachers from across the district.

They would also like future programs to include scholarship opportunities for students who cannot afford the tuition.

The courses are offered in one-week sessions.

Prices are determined by how often the class meets during the week.  Most courses that meet five times are around $75.

Students may take one class or up to four classes a day.

For the full course catalog, including pricing, click here.

Registration and payment may be completed online through the Liberty Middle School website or at the school office at 281 Dock Murphy Drive in Madison.