Kindergarten through sixth-grade students enjoy participating in the 21st Century Program after school.
Even after the last bell rings at the end of the school day, Winton Hills Academy stays abuzz with activity due to the efforts of the Activities Beyond the Classroom (ABC) 21st Century Program. Through this multi-faceted program, kids are exposed to a wide variety of fun and engaging activities that provide academic and cultural enrichment. Students from kindergarten through sixth-grade participate in the program, which is offered Monday through Friday from 2:15 to 5:15 p.m. This three-hour span is jam-packed with activities that not only reinforce what the children are learning during the school day, but it also exposes them to a wide range of stimulating supplemental learning experiences as well. Below are some key highlights detailing what the afterschool program offers, as well as some of the recent events that have occurred under the program:
- During the first hour of the program, children are given a snack followed by an academic hour that provides time for them to complete homework, receive tutoring or engage in additional math and literacy activities. Students learn through both hands-on instruction (via teachers that are on the grant), as well as technology-assisted means. Tutoring is primarily focused on providing additional education to children who are at or below required proficiency levels in math or reading.
- ABC also features a health promotion element, where children engage in 30 minutes of physical activity via the well-renowned CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program. The product of over 25 years of research, CATCH has been proven to decrease childhood obesity by as much as 11 percent in program participants, and it promotes a holistic approach to physical education that not only gets kids moving, but helps them understand the importance of making good food choices as well.
- The ABC program also includes an enrichment element that provides 45 minutes of activity spanning a variety of educational experiences including fine art, coding, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Math Hoops (a basketball-themed board game that teaches fundamental math skills), and much more.
- Before students head home, they receive a healthy dinner to enjoy provided by the program.
- Family Engagement Nights are a popular highlight of the program, as they give students an opportunity to show their parents (and teachers) all that they’ve learned and experienced being a part of the program. For example, one of the most recent Family Engagement Nights included a Science Fair in which students from the program broke up into teams to create various interactive projects (e.g., volcano simulator, tornado in a bottle, etc.). Participants also enjoyed learning about animals from Cool Critters, meeting the Flying Pig Marathon mascot and eating chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A.
The next Family Engagement Night will include a Living Wax Museum, where students will have the opportunity to research a famous historical figure (e.g., Martin Luther King Jr., Cleopatra, etc.), and then wear a costume that mimicked a “wax museum” version of that person. When observers walk by and push a button that the immobile “wax” student is wearing as a pin, the student will “come alive” and begin a presentation telling all about the historical figure. This event will also include a ballet performance from the program’s ballet dance club, and an Entrepreneurship Evening where groups of students will present their business ideas to parents and teachers.
As you can see, the students at Winton Hills Academy have benefited greatly from the many fun educational and enrichment activities offered through the program. When you think about the incredible value this program offers to students, at such an important time in their formative years, it becomes all the more apparent that ABC is a program worth investing in.