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Longmeadow expands after-school enrichment programs


Oct. 31, 2013
By Chris Maza

chrism@thereminder.com

LONGMEADOW – Longmeadow Public Schools are launching a new after-school enrichment program this fall.

Stacy Smith, Enrichment Coordinator, told Reminder Publications that the initiative is similar to the summer enrichment program offered through the district with five-week classes. Classes are offered at all of the town’s schools.

“We wanted to expand our offerings in terms of after-school activities,” she said. “We offer a lot after school in terms of athletics, but we found that students wanted to be able to take advantage of more academic opportunities.”

Smith added that parent feedback played a role in bringing after-school enrichment programing to the district.

“We found that parents were really appreciative of and excited about the programs during the summer and wished we could continue it during the [school] year,” she said.

The program is available for all grade levels with what Smith called “a nice variety of classes.”

At the elementary level, classes range from craft sessions in which students create autumn-themed crafts including scarecrows and bird feeders to opportunities to learn about holiday traditions from cultures around the world.

Middle school programs include cooking classes in which students can prepare exotic dishes, robotics classes utilizing the LEGO Mindstorm and foreign language and Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System lessons.

High school programming includes classes on graphic design with Adobe Photoshop, a history course on the Holocaust, and beginners’ Japanese.

“All courses are taught by Longmeadow Public Schools staff,” Smith said. “The teachers are the ones who really generate the curriculum. It’s a team effort between the administration and the teachers.”

There is a cost for the classes, with most courses requiring a $50 registration fee. Those interested in the program can fill out an online registration form at www.lprd.net.

Information on all of the programs can be found on the Longmeadow Public Schools website’s enrichment program page, www.longmeadow.k12.ma.us/home/enrichment-programs, or contact Smith at 565-4239.

“We’re really excited to offer these classes and some of the classes are already starting to fill, so clearly there is a need,” Smith said.

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