Durocher Summer School draws volunteers

JONESTOWN – For a month every summer, young people in Jonestown have an opportunity to attend the Durocher Summer School, a combination of fun and academics run entirely by volunteers.
Sister Kay Burton, SNJM, has organized the school for the past four years. This year’s session ran from June 6 – July 1.
The students are going into grades six, seven, and eight in local schools. The teachers for session one – the first two weeks – are high school volunteers from Jonestown. The teachers for session two are high school volunteers from Holy Names Academy, Seattle. Wash., and from Jonestown. Holy Names Academy is run by Sister Burton’s order, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
In addition to tutoring in all school subjects, the children get to follow a theme and participate in fun activities such as swimming and music.
This year’s theme was all about the blues. Students got to take a day trip to the BB King Museum in Indianola to put some of their lessons into context. They also got guitar lessons and wrote and produced a play about the blues legend from the Delta.
Sister Burton has been developing volunteer programs, especially focused in education, for many years in Jonestown. Her efforts include seeking young people to staff the summer school and other educational programs. She also coordinates a volunteer-run community garden. She works on health issues as well, helping get a walking trail opened in the community and educating people about good health and exercise.
Finally, Sister Kay works with young women in the community, forming groups to discuss issues of concern to them, helping them build confidence and self-esteem.
Sister Burton said she is grateful for all the community members to help make Summer School a success.