Summer at Thornton Academy
Learning first. Fun second. Friends forever.
Discover new classes and make friends for life at the Summer at Thornton Academy program. Held on Thornton Academy's beautiful campus, the program features two blocks of classes in the mornings and two activities per day in the afternoons and evenings.
Summer at Thornton Academy is designed for both day and boarding students and features classes in arts, STEM, humanities, and English Language Learning, and more! All classes are taught by experienced Thornton Academy teachers.
Afternoon and evening activities encourage students to discover American culture, have fun, and explore topics from the morning classes. One day, we might visit an art museum. The next, we learn about lobstering as we go out in a lobster boat in Casco Bay.
Dates for 2023
Full 4-week program: July 22 - August 19
Session 1 (2 weeks): July 22 - August 4
Session 2 (2 weeks): August 4 - August 19
*Registration for Summer 2023 will open in early February.
It was an absolute pleasure being a part of the summer camp this year! To witness the bonds form between these students through the shared experiences of the program was truly something special.
corey Jones, Summer at Thornton Academy teacher
- Class Descriptions
- Sample Daily Schedule
- Day Student Tuition
- Boarding Tuition
Listed below are class offerings for 2022. Class offerings for 2023 will be available at the beginning of February.
American Jazz Dance - session 1, block 1
American Jazz Dance is a popular, high-energy form of dance. Jazz is the style that you'll typically see on Broadway. In this class, you will learn technique that includes kicks, leaps, jumps, turns, and everything in between! The class will also practice jazz repertory including both classical and contemporary styles.
climate change: our effect on the planet - session 2, block 2
This course will provide an overview on how humans have impacted the rate of climate change on our planet. Through this course, students will get a historical overview of climate change throughout the history of the planet, how the rate of climate change has changed since the industrial revolution, and implications of climate change on major earth systems. Student’s will build research skills along with field and laboratory techniques to investigate the impacts of human caused climate change.
Creative Writing - Session 2, Block 2
Explore your creative side in this writing class. Student will work on individual projects that could include poetry, short stories, personal narratives, and more. The class will convene daily to workshop their pieces, provide constructive feedback, and work through the editing process together.
CURRENT ISSUES IN SOCIETY - session 2, block 1
Like to debate and argue with your friends? This course is for you! In Current Issues in Society, you will investigate the some of the most pressing issues facing American society today. You will educate yourself on the opposing viewpoints of these issues and then participate in an debate with your classroom. Possible topics may include animal testing, school uniforms, immigration, gun control, and more! Each day students will participate in a group learning experience, individual discovery, debate style discussion, and reflection.
English Language Learning - Written - Session 1 & 2, block 1
Designed for our international students, ELL-Written will focus on reading and writing in the English language. You will study English grammar, work on reading comprehension, and improve your writing skills. Texts will be authentic and chosen to meet your language level. Afternoon and evening activities will enhance your learning and provide real-world connections to what you learn in class!
English Language Learning - Oral - session 1 & 2, block 2
Designed for our international students, ELL-Oral will focus on spoken English. Feel comfortable writing and reading, but the idea of having a conversation scares you? This class will help you feel comfortable talking to others and increase your listening comprehension. Filled with games and fun activities, you won't believe how much you can improve!
Film as Literature - Session 1, Block 2
While we are used to studying the formal and thematic elements of poetry, short fiction, and novels in school, we rarely have the chance to do the same with film, even though we live in an increasingly visually-oriented world of media and storytelling. In this course, students will learn the basics of how to consider film as the literary medium it is. While we will begin our study considering films through traditional lenses of literary study such as plot, character, and theme, we will swiftly move on to those aspects of storytelling specific to film. These include but are in no way limited to color, light, sound design, and editing.
Filmmaking 101 - Session 1, Block 1
We live in an increasingly video-centric society with clips shared across social media, and streaming services bursting with movies and television shows a ubiquitous part of the pop culture landscape. In this course, students will move through the fundamentals of filmmaking from the process of generating an idea all the way through screening their pieces for their classmates. During the weeks of the program, they will come up with an idea, write a screenplay, and then execute that idea in tandem with exercises meant to teach them how to use aspects of film such as color, light, and sound.
geography of the earth - Session 1, block 1
In this course students will travel the globe...in ten days! We will learn about different landforms, bodies of water, and lost and changing environments. We will even take a look at some of Earth’s natural wonders, like Angel Falls in Venezuela and the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. This is a quick exploration of different regions across the seven continents and over the five oceans, from latitude to longitude, Antarctica to Zimbabwe. Current events will be woven into our regional discussions, such as Australia’s wild fires. What is the hottest place on Earth? Is Everest actually the highest mountain? Where is the most isolated inhabited island? We’ll answer these questions and find some new ones to ask!
Intro to Linguistics - session 2, block 1
This class will provide students with a basic knowledge of linguistics– the scientific study of language. We will look at how languages are structured, learned, and used by native and non-native speakers. We will focus on questions such as: What are the building blocks of a language? What makes languages different from each other, and how are all languages the same? How do babies learn language? How do people learn a second language? Can computers learn languages? What does language have to do with identity and how people relate to one another?
intro to musical theater - session 2, block 1
Do you like to sing, act, and have fun? This may be the course for you! Students will apply music reading and understanding of musical score to effectively perform narrative songs! We will explore American Musical Theater to find connections both musically and dramatically. Students will build the performance of a song through the story, characters, and the relationship between performers and the audience. Performance numbers will include contemporary and traditional musical theater repertory.
marine ecology - session 1, block 2
The Gulf of Maine is an exciting ecological region that is diverse and wondrous. Students will investigate ecological interactions along the intertidal zones of Maine to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the relationships between living and non-living features of this region. Upon completion of this course, students will have developed an understanding of how organisms adapts to their environment, food web dynamics, and how humans impact the ecological equilibrium of these systems.
Painting Sweets - Session 1, Block 2
During this two-week course, students will connect to painting still life by inspiration from candy, cookies, and cupcakes. Students will develop an understanding of color theory and color mixing with acrylic and watercolor paints. We will learn techniques that develop skills in observation and create a series of work using a variety of sweets. Students will create a final work on canvas at the end of the course.
Programming 101 - Session 2, Block 2
In this introductory course, students will begin exploring basic concepts in computer programming using Apple's Swift language. Students will write code to solve puzzles and create their own beginner-level apps.
Robotics: build a 3d car - session 1, block 1
During this course, students will learn how to program an Arduino micro-controller for a variety of projects. Students will also work with 3D printing and design software. At the end of the course, students will leave having utilized their new knowledge in the process of creating a 3D printed remote-controlled car! No prior experience needed.
SAT Prep - session 2, block 2
Learn tips and tricks to ace the SAT exam! This class will focus on both the English and Math sections of the test. Students will practice with actual test questions, work individually and in groups to perfect their test-taking skills. A good SAT score can be important for getting into a top university, let our experienced SAT tutors help you achieve your dreams.
Songwriting - session 1, block 2
What goes into writing a song? How do I write a good one, something that is meaningful to me? In this class, we will be activating, and synthesizing creative skills as we endeavor on this adventure of answering these questions. We will explore different approaches/sources of inspiration in writing a song, and apply these components to our own, personal, beautiful works of art!
Universal Design for Learning: The What, Why and How of Our Brain's Path to Growth - Session 2, block 1
We will learn about scientifically-backed methods and types of learning. The focus will be on getting higher levels of engagement with different topics, finding the best ways to represent information for different learners, and the best ways to show what you know
Visual Art Exploration - Session 1, Block 1
During this two-week course, students will explore a variety of materials to develop their expression through art. Students will learn techniques that support an understanding of landscapes, still life, and portraits. We will discover how to use different materials by investigating the playful side of art.
Each day is different at Summer at Thornton Academy but every day is filled with classroom learning, fun with friends, and new adventures!
7:00am - Wake up, shower, get ready for a great day!
7:30am - Breakfast in the dining commons.
8:00am - Block 1: click class descriptions to see all of our options.
10:00am - Block 2: click class descriptions to see all of our options.
12:00pm - Lunch in the dining commons.
2:00pm - Afternoon activity: Lobster boat cruise! Catch your own lobster and learn about these interesting animals.
4:00pm - Free time for shopping.
5:30pm - Dinner in the dining commons.
7:00pm - Evening activity: Mini-golf and ice cream. Compete with your friends and enjoy a delicious treat!
9:00pm - Dorm Hangout time - play games, call your family, relax.
10:30pm - Lights out - get lots of sleep for another busy day tomorrow!
Day Tuition is $200 for each class for each two-week session. Classes meet for two hours a day Monday - Friday for two weeks.
Session 1 (2 weeks): July 25 - August 5
Session 2 (2 weeks): August 8 - August 19
Day students are encouraged to attend afternoon, evening, weekend activities with the international students. Small fees to cover admission expenses / accommodations / meals may apply.
$7,000 for the full four-week program
$4,000 for one two-week session
- Three meals on weekdays and two meals on weekends
- Boarding in our modern dormitories with two students per room
- Health insurance
- Activity fees for two activities each day
- Local transportation
- Airport transfer (select dates only)
- Class materials
What's not included?
- Flights to / from the United States
- Other incidental costs
AdriAnne curtis, intro to linguistics, programming 101
AdriAnne Curtis grew up in a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina. She began taking German classes as a 9th grader and won a study trip to Germany at the end of her junior year. Frau Curtis continued her studies as a German major at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduating in 2008. Though she had originally planned to go on to medical school, she eventually found herself working as a German tutor for struggling students and fell in love with teaching. She earned her MA in Foreign Language Education from New York University in 2011 and began teaching at Thornton shortly thereafter.
When not teaching, Frau Curtis enjoys a wide variety of hobbies. She loves to drive and work on her 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, a car that she restored herself over 12 years. She also enjoys knitting, repairing old furniture, drawing, and sewing. She lives in Sanford with her husband, young daughter, and cat.
katie dube, creative writing & intro to musical theater
Katie Dube graduated from Thornton Academy in 2016. Aside from studying, she was involved with the TA Players, Chamber Singers, and Treble Choir. She recently graduated in May from The University of Maine. She received a B.S. in Secondary Education English and a minor in theatre. Over the past four years at UMaine, she has participated in nine theatrical productions. With this class, Katie hopes to instill a love of theatre, play, and imagination for everyone!
Nikki ledoux, English language learning
Nikki Ledoux graduated from ThorntonAcademy in 2017.Also a recent college graduate, she earned a B.A. in Visual and CommunicationArts with a minor in Environmental Science from Franklin University Switzerland. The TA aluma is currently teaching ESL and Technology at a bilingual high school in Madrid, Spain, while working on getting certified to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL). Her philosophy as an educator is to create an inclusive and interactive learning environment to make learning English as fun as possible!
An avid traveler, Nikki has been living in Europe for the past five years, and has visited 18 different countries. During her time at Thornton Academy as a student, she participated in dance company, volleyball, tennis, and even hosted international students with her family.
justine lasdin, Painting sweets, visual art exploration
Justine Lasdin is an artist and educator based in Portland, Maine. Her work focuses on landscapes that capture the viewer with color, line, and expressive marks. Her educational background extends from small group workshops for adults and children to her most recent endeavor, earning a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Maine College of Art (MECA). Justine currently teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at the Middle School of the Kennebunks. Justine has a passion for teaching creative practices, building techniques and skills, and harnessing an appreciation for art. She works to strengthen problem-solving and critical thinking skills by leveraging exploration through the arts. Justine creates a student-centered environment by understanding each individual and allowing student interest to influence lessons.
Emily murray, American jazz dance
Emily Murray graduated from Thornton Academy in 2019. She currently studies Elementary Education with a Dance Minor at The University of Maine in Orono. She danced with the Thornton Academy Dance Company from her sophomore year to her senior year of high school and was heavily involved in musical theater. She was the associate choreographer/dance captain for “Crazy for You” and student leader of TADC. Emily has assisted dance classes for years and began teaching her own classes at Brooks Dance Center in Waterboro last summer. Emily has been a counselor and choreographed for the Twin City Theater Academy summer camp for the past two summers and has volunteered as a counselor and dance assistant at TA Arts Camp for the past three years.
daniel picard, Robotics, carboard boat building
Daniel Picard will be graduating with a degree in secondary education with a concentration in mathematics along with a minor in computer science and a certificate in teaching English language learners. Daniel has worked at Thornton Academy summer camps for the past five years and has been teaching technology classes to grades K-5 for the past three years.
Tony sequiera, geography of the earth, UDL
Tony grew up in Maine, but left for the United States Marine Corps after high school. After spending several years stationed in Hawaii, and seeing a few other parts of the world, Tony returned home and attended the University of Southern Maine. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in History, and is pursuing a Master’s in Educational Psychology with a focus in behaviorism. Tony has been working with kids in several capacities since 2008. Initially Tony worked primarily serving families with children on the autism spectrum. He then worked as a one-to-one in Maine schools and ran a before and after school program in New York. In 2019 Tony joined the Thornton Academy faculty.
katie spagnolo, songwriting & intro to musical theater
Katie Spagnolo graduated from Thornton Academy in 2017. During her time here, she was deeply involved in every corner of the performing arts program. She was involved in 15 theatrical productions, 2 dance show cases, and more band and choral concerts than she can count. She went onto the University of Maine, and in December 2021 obtained a Bachelor of Music Education degree. She taught the 2019 sessions of this camp program, and it made such a positive impact on her, she came back for more!
Students live in Thornton Academy’s modern dormitories in double placement. The dormitories have bathrooms, laundry, kitchen, and lounges for studying and socializing. Staying in the dorm is one of the most important and fun parts of the program. Hang out with your new friends and practice your conversational English.
Meals are held in the Atkinson Dining Commons. Three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are served on weekdays while two meals (brunch and dinner) are served on weekends. Occasionally, we will eat off-campus with either a bagged lunch or at a restaurant during a longer excursion. The dining staff prepares delicious, healthy food for our students and staff. They can make adjustments for any dietary concerns, just let us know before you arrive on campus!
Summer at Thornton Academy is FUN! We do two activities per day: one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. Weekends mean no classes and trips off-campus that explore the beauty of Maine.
Afternoon activities include:
- Lobster boat cruise
- Soccer tournament
- Visits to universities
- Swimming at the beach
- Amusement parks and more!
Evening activities include:
- Bonfire & s’mores,
- Basketball tournament,
- Art projects,
- Trivia night,
- Watching the sunset at the beach and more!
- Trips to Boston to visits to MIT and Harvard,
- Hiking in beautiful state and national parks
- Taking a ferry boat to a remote ocean island
- Whitewater rafting and more!