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Roanoke summer school program attracting record number of students

'We don't want them to lose any of that information'

ROANOKE, Va. – A record number of Roanoke city students are spending their summer back in the classroom.

However, they're not learning in the way you'd expect.

They're exploring the depths of the ocean, visiting animals in the wild and marveling at the wonders of the galaxy all from a classroom.

Some 3,700 students in Roanoke City Schools' Summer Enrichment Program, RCPS+, are broadening their horizons with new technology. 

"We want them to love learning and that's what our program is about," said Greg Johnson, who oversees RCPS+.

He says the ultimate goal of the program is to prevent the summer slide, "We don't want them to regress at all from what they've learned. They've worked very hard during the school year and we don't want them to lose any of that information during the 10-11 weeks that they're off."

The nontraditional hands-on strategy seems to be working as technology transports kids around the world and beyond.

"The ocean and the solar system is important to us and when you learn about them, it's really cool," said rising third grader Jason Vincent.

An out-of-this-world summer taking Star City students far beyond the four walls of the classroom.