By MADDY VITALEWith the start of a new school year, with hybrid and remote learning as choices for families, the Ocean City school district has joined with the Ocean City Tabernacle’s Son Club to offer a program that would help meet the new and changing needs of students. The Son Club is offered for free during the school year from Monday through Friday for students grades K-8 and begins Monday, Sept. 21. To learn more about this program email [email protected] and staff provide homework help, mentoring, music and life skills, snacks and games.In addition, there is a fee-based remote learning Son Club that will be offered. Participants will enjoy indoor and outdoor games in grades K-6. They will be in consistent groups of 10. To register for the remote learning program, visit octabernacle.org/programs/remotelearning. Modifications have been made to both programs to adhere to all safety and health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pastor Jay Reimer, the CEO of the Tabernacle, explained that Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor met with the Son Club leadership. “Dr. Taylor phoned me and asked if the Son Club program could be modified to assist with the family needs for remote-learning days and for after-school help,” Reimer said Wednesday. “Dr. Taylor has impressed me so much with her strong desire to meet the needs of each Ocean City student and each school family.”Dr. Taylor said of the partnership between the district and the Son Club, “We are so thankful for community programs, City of Ocean City Youth Camps, businesses converting their spaces into Pod Learning Centers, and the Son Club at the Ocean City Tabernacle, who are providing much needed child-care programs and activities for the children of Ocean City.”She continued, “When my four children were younger, childcare was a major concern for my husband and I as we had different working schedules than my children’s school schedules. So, I understand the immense stress families are facing today with finding quality childcare for either a combined hybrid with remote learning or a full remote learning program.”Dr. Taylor also highlighted the importance and the impact of community support.“Therefore, giving students these additional outlets make a difference for their continuity of education and for community involvement. We are appreciative and commend the city, our businesses such as Bowfish, and the Tabernacle for their invaluable support for students, parents and Ocean City families,” she said.With students starting the school year, some remotely and some attending the hybrid learning model, parents will receive help with aftercare from the Son Club.In the next few days, students in the primary and intermediate schools will be sent home with information about the Son Club.Reimer said the idea to join together to help families during the pandemic came a month ago.He added that the Ocean City Tabernacle was happy to offer assistance to the school district’s families. “We were honored to receive her request for help for this challenging school year,” Reimer noted of Dr. Taylor. “In the O.C. School District plan for this year, the Son Club was named with the City of Ocean City as partner organizations to help meet childcare needs.” Families in the district had two choices for the new school year. There is the hybrid learning model, in which students attend school two days a week and do their studies remotely for three days, or they could do the Virtual Academy all from home. This year, above all other years, it is important to come together as a community and help parents and students navigate the new learning model with shortened school days and days when they are learning remotely, officials said.Reimer emphasized that there is still so much uncertainty, and aftercare is so vital to parents so that they may keep their jobs to support their families. The Son Club aftercare program will be there to offer some help and also enjoyment for the children.The Son Club program is made possible, in part, through the donations of individuals, businesses and organizations.The Ocean City Tabernacle is located at 550 Wesley Ave. For more information call 609-399-1915 or visit www.octabernacle.org.Ocean City Tabernacle offers the Son Club throughout the school year. Alicia Stauffer, of Ocean City, picks up her daughter, Brielle, 8, after Ocean City Tabernacle’s Son Club in 2019. The popular program is being offered this year in partnership with the Ocean City schools with some modifications.
There’s no trace of bravado in Paul Harding, no austere aura of the revered and seasoned writer.Paul Harding knows rejection.He knows hard work like the characters in his novel “Tinkers,” men of solitude with unspoken troubles.Harding once reconciled with himself that maybe he’d be a writer who never published. He’d sent his book around to agents, but none was impressed by a labyrinthine story interweaving three generations of New England fathers and sons. Agents told him readers weren’t interested in “my quiet, meditative half-novel thingie,” but wanted action and fireworks — car chase and machine-gun style.“I think of ‘Tinkers’ as unlineated poetry,” Harding told an overcapacity crowd at the Barker Center Thursday night (July 29). The former creative writing and composition professor at Harvard Extension School and the Harvard Summer School drew packs of admirers and former students who wanted to hear, and perhaps brag about, their former teacher who won the Pulitzer Prize — seemingly out of nowhere.“I ceased and desisted and put the book in a drawer for three years,” Harding revealed.He had a wife, two children, and used to drum in a rock band. He had a full, good life, he knew, but he just couldn’t let go of his novel. One of his sons suffered with chronic ear infections and would only sleep if being driven around. So in the middle of the night, Harding drove, and when his son finally dozed, he’d pull over and work on his story.“Tinkers” is drawn from Harding’s family history. His grandfather repaired and traded antique clocks, and while Harding apprenticed with him, he heard fragments of the man’s life. The not-quite 200-page novel narrates the death of clock repairer George Washington Crosby, goes back in time to introduce George’s father, the epileptic tinker and backwoods peddler Howard, who then remembers his own epileptic father, who abandons the family when he learns his wife is to have him institutionalized.“I’m not interested in autobiography, but the dramatic premises of the book are factual,” Harding said. “My grandfather did repair and trade antique clocks, and I apprenticed with him. His father did have epilepsy and left the family when my grandfather was 12.”“My grandfather’s family had been very poor, and his father’s leaving was very traumatic, so my grandfather would not talk about these things. He refused to elaborate. So that just made those stories irresistible to me. So when he died and my grandmother died, and all my documentary sources dried up, I just took those stories as points of departure and would write my way out from them until the imagined truth would hit its own momentum.”The novel’s fragmentation, rich detail, and many perspectives are what make “Tinkers” so singular — and arguably convoluted. But Harding said the original version of his book was nearly indecipherable.“The way I write is the way those robot cleaners vacuum,” Harding told the audience. “Fiction doesn’t come to me in linear chronology.” He recalled the night he printed his manuscript, “spread it out on the floor, took scissors and tape, and cut it all up.”But his manual labor paid off.“Tinkers” found its way to Erika Goldman, the editorial director of Bellevue Literary Press, a small nonprofit run out of the New York University School of Medicine. Goldman agreed to publish it.From there, Harding’s success is nothing less than a Cinderella story. “Tinkers” spread largely through word of mouth, with a few good reviews along the way, and garnered the unlikely attention of the Pulitzer judges.“I still don’t believe it’s possible,” Harding said of his award. “Is it an elaborate hoax?”While working on a second novel, Harding is on the road promoting “Tinkers” until next April. After all the rejection, Harding is warming to his newfound limelight.“I’m not sure,” he joked, “but it might be a little like being Miss America.”To read reflections from a student (and a veteran reporter) on what it was like to learn from Paul Harding, click here.
Arsenal’s limitations were exposed by an impressive Schalke 04 as they slumped to Champions League defeat at Emirates Stadium.The Bundesliga side took control of Group B as goals in the final 15 minutes from Klaas Jan-Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay gave the Germans a victory their superiority fully deserved.With Arsene Wenger in the directors’ box serving the final game of a three-match touchline ban and assistant Steve Bould in charge on the touchline, Arsenal never made any serious impression on a night of sheer frustration.And once Schalke worked out Brazilian left-back Andre Santos was the glaring weak link in the Arsenal line-up, they probed ruthlessly and to great effect to end the Gunners’ 100% record in the competition.Arsenal will still feel confident of qualification for the knockout phase after victories over Montpellier and Olympiakos – but Schalke are now in pole position to take top spot in the group and potentially earn an easier draw in the last 16. It was a tough night for Arsenal and Wenger as Schalke showed a potency in attack that was way beyond anything the hosts could offer, a fact reflected in the loud jeers that rang around the ground at the final whistle. Gervinho was entrusted with the attacking responsibilities with Olivier Giroud left on the bench, but he struggled throughout and was eventually put out of his misery with a substitution.Arsenal survived a scare after 20 minutes when Afellay, on loan from Barcelona, went down in the area under a challenge from goalkeeper Vito Mannone after a slight hesitation from Carl Jenkinson – but referee Jonas Eriksson ruled that the winger had dived and he was punished with a yellow card.Opportunities were at a premium and when Gervinho did break away he was isolated and crowded out by Schalke defenders as he attempted to work his way into the box.Schalke were targeting the wayward positioning of Santos but were running into a formidable barrier in the shape of Germany defender Per Mertesacker, whose performance was exemplified by a brave block from a Jefferson Farfan shot.Santos was nowhere to be seen as Atsuto Uchida broke into the area and Arsenal were fortunate the normally lethal Huntelaar was wayward with his finish at the near post. And in another break into the same left-flank territory just after the break, Benedikt Howedes should have done better than fire over the top from Farfan’s cross.Gervinho was feeling the frustration of Arsenal’s fans but he almost created the opener with a direct run and cross – but no colleagues were waiting to apply the final touch as the ball flashed across goal.There was to be no further opportunity for Gervinho to redeem himself as he was replaced by Giroud in an attempt to inject impetus into the hosts’ attack.Schalke had been the more threatening team throughout and it was no surprise when they took the lead with 14 minutes left. Santos was once again culpable, playing Huntelaar on side as he chased Afellay and this time the Netherlands striker made no mistake.Afellay completed the job with four minutes left, converting the simplest of chances after Farfan had once again embarrassed the labouring Santos.