MEXICO — Zombies, guitarists and artists wandered the halls and classrooms of Mountain Valley Middle School this week as more than 100 youngsters took part in a multitude of summer activities.

Aaron Berry starred in a 15-minute zombie video from Fluffy Films titled “A-Aron.”

Making films was just one of the activities that got many youngsters involved.

“It’s a horror comedy,” Aaron, a ninth-grader, said. “I’m the one that’s killing everyone.”

Erica Lynch-Ferrier was the instructor for the course. She was volunteering her time to teach the popular class. She said between 15 and 30 students come to her class every day.

The students who are making the zombie video plan to show it as part of the weekly talent show on Thursday.

Jacob True, a seventh-grader, said the video makes fun of all scary movies.

Students Donna Arsenault, grade five, and David Rogers, grade seven, made a horror video with sophomore Emily Urban and others; the two younger students also made a dance video. Instead of showing the video, they are going to perform it live at the talent show.

Down the end of the ramp in the music room, instructor Scott Dunbar was teaching several students how to improve their guitar playing.

He, Isaiah Thornton, grade nine, Tyger Shink, grade five, and Michael Arsenault, grade nine, played a rocking rendition of “Sunshine of My Love,” complete with heavy bass.

Dunbar also teaches ham radio techniques to young people.

Brian Arsenault, a software developer at the NewPage paper mill, volunteered his time teaching game theory, the psychology of gaming and other topics related to games.

The 2008 Mountain Valley High School graduate earned a degree in game programming and game theory from Champlain College.

“It’s interesting to see what concepts from games are used in business software,” he said, as a group of boys were playing “Magic.”

Liz Murphy and Mercedes Gurney helped students create art by using colored bubbles, along with other media.

Other activities have included robotics, woodcarving, science experiments and cooking.

Twenty-First Century grant director Barb Radmore said the summer program grows every year. It ends on July 31.

However, another grant was recently received that will make possible after-school programs for students at Dirigo Elementary School and Mountain Valley Middle School starting in September.


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