Purchase photos

Workshop focuses on learning





ELLIS -- The little house at 808 Washington doesn't look like a school, but the youngsters inside last week were focused on learning.

The kindergarten and first-grade students attending a "three R's workshop" at Educational Assistance & Service of Ellis LLC were getting ready for school.

Janetta Heroneme, who operates EASE, planned to start offering workshops in June, but the demand for tutoring started before school dismissed last year.

"Janetta is fantastic," said Brandy Becker.

Becker's daughter Kamryn, 5, who will be a student at St. Mary's School, attended the workshop.

"We wanted to get a head start for kindergarten," Becker said.

Heroneme spent the hour-and-a-half workshop interacting with the children and using positive reinforcement.

Numbers, shapes, letters and animals decorate the walls of the small classroom, and she used all of them to tie together the concepts she was teaching.

"We plug away," Heroneme told the children. "We keep doing our job, so we don't run out of time."

Though her workshops were for elementary students, she also "works with all ages, setting up study groups for high school and junior high."

An Ellis native, Heroneme has two children and five grandchildren.

She has a degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She's taught in Hays and Ellis for more than 15 years. Three years after retiring, she decided to return to work with children.

The summer workshop series included a writing workshop, FACE workshop -- focus attention and concentration education, and leadership through literature.

When school starts, EASE will offer a different workshop every afternoon after school.

Monday is character club including leadership and current events. Tuesday's workshop is reading and includes enjoyment, meaning and process. Wednesday students will work on vocabulary, grammar and paragraphs at a writing workshop. The math workshop Thursday will include problem solving and reasoning, as well as games.

Each session includes a relaxation period, lessons and activities, a snack and socializing.

Heroneme plans to renovate a building behind the house to add more space for her workshops. Tentative plans are to be finished in October.