The Extended Learning Opportunities Department continues to expand student access in afterschool enrichment programs. Last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted traditional in-person enrichment programs, the ELO Department remained committed to creating no cost, no subscription, easy access platforms to ensure parents and student have access enrichment opportunities that are Engaging, Enriching, and Empowering.
The ELO Department is ensuring that parents and students have access to quality enrichment resources throughout the pandemic. These resources were made available to parents, students, and community organizations via the Extended Learning Opportunities website. The ELO website includes a bevy of resources, including virtual field trips, at-home resources, and weekly screen-free activities for families, allowing parents to connect with their children.
Lori Griffin, director of the Extended Learning Opportunities Department, said the department focuses on meeting the needs of the whole child. As a result, the virtual afterschool enrichment programming allows the department to expand its reach in providing afterschool enrichment options to students and parents.
In collaboration with the Computer Science and Technology Department, students and parents were able to register for virtual afterschool enrichment classes. Classes ranged from coding to opera, arts and crafts. The interdepartmental collaboration allowed greater student access to afterschool enrichment activities using the virtual program platform.
Once registered, the ELO Department hosted Super Saturdays at Julia C. Frazier for parents to pick up virtual enrichment supply kits for students to participate in the virtual afterschool programs. For the parents who were unable to pick up the virtual enrichment kits, door-to-door deliveries were made to students’ homes, parents’ jobs, and district campuses. This ensured the students received the necessary resources to participate in the virtual program options, exemplifying the district’s Core 4 framework.
A parent’s perspective
Alejandra Martinez has two sons–a second-grader and a fourth-grader that attend Cesar Chavez Elementary School–who participate in the virtual enrichment program.
“I was glad the program was offered for my sons while they were at home doing remote learning. I only registered my younger son because my older son was hesitant about doing it. He thought it was for younger kids and he would not like it. With having twins, a week before the program started, I was unable to pick up the virtual enrichment supply kits. I was thankful for Mrs. Taylor, ELO Program Coordinator, who delivered the supplies to my house. After my older son saw the enrichment kits, he wanted to participate also. Mrs. Taylor had extra kits and made a second delivery to my house. They enjoy the program and was glad they did not have to miss out on extracurricular activities. They both said it is better than being in school. They like spreading all their supplies out over the living room and leaving them there. Not being able to drive and go to Super Saturday, the boys would not have been as engaged in the classes without the kits. I will sign them up again for these types of afterschool enrichment programs.”