The circus came to town Friday.
The big top was the gymnasium at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Ogdensburg, all decked out in circus finery like colored floor mats and inflatable 500-pound barbells and barrels. Still, you could almost smell the sawdust.
The colorfully dressed and made-up clowns, jesters and entertainers were special-needs students and their teachers from the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services six-week-long extended school program.
For the 45 to 50 student participants, the program is part learning and part fun.
Students are recommended by their home school district to attend our six-week program in order to maintain academic levels and social skills, said Andee L. West, the programs coordinator. Our program offers academic instruction, camping experience, swim lessons and field trips out in the community.
So the kids get to spice up their reading, writing and arithmetic with trips to Lisbon Beach, the Ogdensburg Free Academy pool and the Adirondacks.
And throw in a circus for good measure.
Its a more relaxed atmosphere than during the regular school year, Ms. West said.
Ms. West, it should be noted, wasnt in costume on Friday. But never underestimate her willingness to ditch the regular school year formality.
Especially when the circus is in town.
Its my job, but its fun, she said. It really is.