By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Students at Linden Street School will be learning more than just math and reading during the upcoming school year.
Principal Paula Eshoo said that for the first time this September, students in grades one through five will have the opportunity to tap into their own interests through a variety of after-school enrichment programs. The programs encompass health and fitness, art, theater, science, and other hobbies. Certified teachers will run the classes on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wheeler and Toffolon Elementary School also will have after school activities that will be tailored toward the interests of students and staff.
Some of the programs at Linden include an African drum and dance class, ceramics, painting, and gardening. During the African dance class, students will learn about various rhythms and dances and the “djembe” drumming technique used in Mali, which is located in West Africa. The running club, which ends with a marathon, also will continue this year. Eshoo said she’s excited for these new activities to begin so students can develop talents and interests outside of the classroom.
“I hope [the students] get a sense that learning is fun…and there’s joy in it,” Eshoo said.
Art teacher Barbara Friedman is excited for the programs to begin this fall. Friedman has volunteered to teach the art program, which will allow students to explore working with clay as well as painting. She said the program will give students more time to create more “in depth projects,” especially since they have art class once a week.
“It’s wonderful that we’re able to tap into their passions,” Friedman said. “They’ll be able to fly.”
Friedman said she also looks forward to spending more time with the students during the after school programs. At the end of the day, Friedman hopes the art classes will foster their sense of self-confidence.
“I hope they feel successful…like they’re artists,” she said.
The programs will run throughout the entire school year and buses will be available to bring students home after the activities. The programs scheduled for Mondays will begin Sept. 23 and end April 8 while the programs scheduled for Thursdays will start Sept. 19 and end May 1.
Comments? Email lcapobianco@SouthingtonObserver.com.