By Simon Wendel, Kaylin Roth, and Grace Grinold
WILMINGTON- Patsy Mehlhop was not the one who originally came up with the idea for Wings, it was Lynne Feal-Staub. She had asked for a teacher in each school to lead the Wings program. Mehlhop was a teacher at Deerfield Valley Elementary School and she was doing Wings programs.
She worked up to being in charge of Wings at DVES. She accomplished this by doing many programs first and then “Poof!” she was in charge of Wings in this school.
The school pays for some of Wings and the students pay for some cost of it but, what most people don’t know about is that there is a federal grant called the 21c. The 21c also gives the Wings program money. The program leaders, delicious snacks, RC cars, and the printing of the Wings programs all cost money.
Mehlhop looks for some traits in a Wings program leader like being passionate about the program that they’re teaching. “Wings is a great program for all kids,” said Mehlhop.
The most popular Wings programs are RC Cars, Mike’s Survival, cooking, Girls On The Run, and Boys On The Run. Mike’s Survival is when kids that sign up for his program go outside to build forts and do survival things.
To begin with, the summer Wings was called “Rec” and now it’s called Wings because it was too confusing having two different programs going at the same time. The federal grant said if you have an after-school program there has to be a summer program.
“I like Wings because I can see all my friends. My favorite Wings program is Homework Club because I can do all my homework at school and play when I get home,” reported Simon.
Mehlhop’s favorite Wings program is Geo Wizards. She enjoys this program because she likes learning about geography.
Mehlhop decides how to put programs together by making sure there are programs for older students and younger students and asks the program leaders for their ideas. She decides what days to put them on by asking what days program leaders are available. “Sometimes I have to beg them,” said Mehlhop.
Wings is a great program for all kids. It’s K-5 at TVES and kids can make many great friends!