At EVCS, we see great value in bringing together students of different ages for learning activities. It helps children understand the school community beyond the walls of their classroom, take on the role of mentor or helper if they are older, and form new bonds and friendships with adults and children from other areas of the school.
One way we do this is through our Clubs program. On Friday afternoons, during two seven- or eight-week periods during the year, our entire school reorganizes itself into different, activity-based clubs. The clubs are led by teachers, often with a parent assistant, and span a wide range of interests: in a given semester we might have cooking, painting, soccer, skateboard mechanics, karaoke, Lego, gardening and relay race clubs. There might be a fairy and mythical creatures club, a Playdoh-making club, or a clowning club. The possibilities are huge, and often come from parents and children.
Children are asked to list their top three choices and then when clubs begin, they go to another classroom, or meet with a teacher if their club is outside, and engage in whatever activity they chose from 1:45 p.m. until dismissal at 3 p.m. Not only are clubs fun and an integral piece of our social curriculum, they help children develop skills they may not be practicing in class or at home, such as sewing, gardening or building. We encourage parents to suggest ideas for clubs and co-lead clubs—all are welcome!