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After School with ACES Ed

Posted in Kids' Corner

From February through April 2014, ACES Ed hosted an eight-week after school enrichment program for 3rd and 4th grade students at Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale. These classes were run through the PowerTime after school program, which is funded by ACCESS Roaring Fork. Participants were hand-picked by teachers and staff.

ACES Ed is a multi-faceted education program. Our main focus is environmental education in the classroom and in the field, but we leapt at the opportunity to provide enrichment lessons for students after school. Over this session we explored everything from mysteries in the snow to wildlife in the schoolyard. We performed hands-on science experiments and dug into “Think Spring” indoor container gardening. These lessons helped expand the students’ science skills and build their confidence through teamwork activities.

Pictured below are several students’ nature journals that they created on the first day of the program. After hand-crafting the journals, students were instructed to use these each day to reflect on activities, draw and record observations, answer journal prompts, and ultimately to create memories from their after school experience. Many of the students were excited to continue to write in their journals after the eight-week session ended.

The PowerTime after school program also gave me the chance to build a rapport with students I might not have in class, to teach them new things that they may not learn during the regular school day, to explore their schoolyard together, and to simply have fun with scientific discovery! It was an exciting challenge to think outside the box and come up with creative, engaging and fun lessons that made them even more enthusiastic for our ACES Ed classes during the regular school day.

~ Maria Sabljak, ACES Educator

Click here to learn more about ACES Ed programming.