Just because school is no longer in session doesn't mean students can't brush up on their lessons.

At least, that's been the case in the Palmerton Area School District, where elementary students grades 1-5 have continued to hone their skills in math and reading.

About 75 students have participated in the Summer Skills Sharpener Program, held over a three-week period at the Parkside Education Center.

The program, which runs through July 1, provides students with another outlet to learn, said program co-coordinators Deborah Hard and Bobbi Beckley.

"We have a lot of repeat kids from year-to-year," Beckley said. "It's to have them think outside the box through differentiated instruction."

Hard said the students who take part in the program also participate in the summer recreation program at the Coal Bowl playground.

"[The Summer Skills Sharpener Program] is a free program," Hard said. "The recreation program is separate."

Bailey Moyer, who will enter the fourth grade in the fall, said she learned about tall tales and exaggeration.

Classmate Kayleigh Snyder, who will also enter the fourth grade in the fall, shared much the same thoughts.

"I like the teachers," said Kayleigh, 9. "I learned about tall tales, and how to put on a play for other people."

Sherrie Fenner, director of curriculum and instruction, said this marks the third year for the program, which was sponsored by Accountability Block Grant funds.

As part of the program, Fenner said teachers create their own active lessons and programs to increase academic learning.

"We're trying to lesson the loss of learning over the summer," Fenner said. "It's not a remedial program; the teachers can work in a small group setting with children."

Fenner credited Hard and Beckley with the program's continued success.

"Debbie and Bobbi have done a wonderful job to get this program to be a success," she said. "They have gone above and beyond."