By Amanda Moses
The Spring Creek After School program began virtual sessions via ZOOM on October 16th for kindergarteners to fifth graders from 3:30 pm to 6 pm. This fall, many students are getting accustomed to the “new normal” of remote learning, whether that is through fully digital lessons or blended classes. In anticipation of this difficult transition, the Spring Creek After School Program has created an experience that further instills the lessons from the school day as well as providing homework help, STEAM based activities, gardening sessions, chess club, sports and fitness, and more.
The program is set to offer hybrid activities, but at the moment is functioning remotely until indoor classroom sessions resume. Every weekday, the Spring Creek After School Program begins their ZOOM activities by Group Leaders happily greeting students and taking turns to recite their infamous chant:
Spring Creek kids are here to stay!
We came to learn; we came to play!
We strive to be the best we can!
Where Learning’s Fun; the Spring Creek plan!
After this rousing mantra, the classes are ready to split off into break out rooms with their group leaders. During their first class, everyone was ecstatic to see each other. Spring Creek After School Director, Jeremy Williams and Assistant Site Supervisor, Randi Ray spent the first hour of programing explaining the schedule and ZOOM etiquette through fun trivia games. Attendees learned that the classes are divided by grade. On some days, while the first, second, and third graders are learning about gardening with Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman, other students will be playing chess with Mr. Johnny, Minecraft/Roblox with Mr. Gavin, or receiving homework help.
There are also weekly sessions with an instructor from the Learning Through An Expanded Arts Program (LEAP), an arts initiative that engages students using creative projects. According to LEAP’s mission statement on their website, “LEAP provides educational arts programs that promote access and equity for New York City students underserved in the arts. We inspire diverse school communities to love learning and build their creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills.”
Each day has a host of activities for everyone to participate in, but the one consistent session is homework help. All students are required to do their homework for one hour with their group leaders. These instructors take the time to look through the student’s virtual homework assignments and to ensure nothing is overlooked. They also provide help for those who are having a hard time with a math problem or any other subject.
In addition, there are a few fourth and fifth graders who participate in the After School Media Club, where they learn all about film production, screenplay writing, camera specs, and other digital media. This year’s group will be making a puppet show for their final project.
There are also artistic classes, such as creating your own comic book with Mr. Jonathan or developing virtual stories with Mr. Rhamsys. Each day provides a new lesson to be learned at the Spring Creek After School Program.
Screenshots by Amanda Moses