As our second semester begins it also means the start for a new season of Girls on the Run. Last year I was lucky enough to be a part of Girls on the Run at Harrison Elementary and this year we are bringing the program to Grant Elementary for the first time!
Girls on the Run is offered for third-fifth grade students. The 10-week program promotes girls creating a sense of self identity, making new friends, and promoting a positive self-image. As the students get older and work their way closer to transitioning to middle school, building confidence in who they are is very crucial. Girls on the Run offers a safe, friendly environment for them to do just that. Every practice is broken down into two parts. We always begin a practice together with a lesson. “The Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development.” After the lessons we begin the running portion. The girls train for a 5K that takes place at the end of the season. The 5K is a time for every Girls on the Run team from every school in the surrounding area to come together and celebrate the season. Throughout their practices they set running goals and work towards accomplishing the 3.1 miles 5K run. The goal of Girls on the Run is that they just move forward in any way that they can.
I am so excited to get Girls on the Run started here at Grant. I think that this is an awesome opportunity for the girls in this school to grow both mentally and physically into strong, confident individuals.
-Cristal Boeding, Grant Site Coordinator
Some new activities that have started up for 2018 at Harrison include:
Through yoga, the students are learning breathing techniques and new ways to cope with behavior. They can in turn take this learning back to the classroom or to their learning lab groups. This has become a great way for the students to see their enrichment learning being incorporated into their day-to-day life.
Green Iowa has been working with students to teach them what healthy meals look like and how and where they are able to get these items. They started with learning about how to grow their own produce and what items they could use from the environment. They were given tools so they can teach others around them what a well-balanced diet would look like.
Spin Art is a fun, hands-on way for kids to be creative and use their imaginations to make artwork they can display at home or at school. Introducing kids to new methods of creativity can spark an untapped talent or provide a break from paper and pencil work.
We look forward to seeing the students come together through new learning and experiences.
-Gabrielle, Harrison Elementary Site Coordinator
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And just like that, the school year has come to an end. It has been a great year for KOC at Grant Elementary. We have had a lot of fun with Learning Lab, Enrichment, SPARC Friday, YMCA Basketball, Cedar Rapids Track Club, College Visits, and Page Pals this past school year!
Most recently, students participated in their final session of Enrichment. Students signed up for Kids on Course who have successfully completed Learning Lab were eligible to participate in completely free enrichment courses they are passionate about. For the past five weeks, over 125 Kids on Course students at Grant have been involved in 12 different enrichment courses after school. Course selections included: Garden Club, Science Experiments, Sprout Scouts, Brain Challenge, Recess Games, Karaoke, Fairy and Toad Houses, Kids on Orff, and Track & Field. We even had three different athletic teams come down from Jefferson to teach our students cheerleading, football, and basketball. This was the first time Kids on Course has partnered with Jefferson to lead enrichment courses for students, and we can’t wait to have them back again!
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For five weeks, students got to learn all of the tricks of the trade in basketball, football, and cheerleading from the coaches they might one day have in the future! Students learned about arm motions, stunting, and jumps in cheerleading; play calling, technique, and form in football; and shooting, ball handling, and good sportsmanship in basketball. This partnership with the Jefferson J-Hawks allowed KOC to match our students’ passions with the experts who may one day be their future coach! It was great to see our students engaged in fun, interactive activities.
A very special thank you goes out to Brian Webb (Jefferson Head Varsity Football Coach) Jason Edwards (Jefferson Girls Head Varsity Basketball Coach), and Sherren Huston (Varsity Cheer Coach). We couldn’t have done this without you!
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Here we are again.
The sun is beginning to set early, but the faces of the kids in Harrison seem to be brighter than ever. That is because our Fall Enrichment Session is here! With over 20 separate enrichments going on this Fall, kids have a good reason to be excited. Students signed up for Kids on Course are eligible to participate in completely free courses they are passionate about, like dance, ceramics, soccer, and garden club.
While the kids are busy bouncing out of their seat to run to the KOC room to let us know what class they are going to be in, my co-worker Luke and I have been hard at work preparing Harrison for the crazy that is soon to be 170 students staying after school to follow their passions! For the first time ever, Kids on Course at Harrison has partnered with the brand new NW Rec Center right outside Harrison’s historic doors. This partnership allows us to more effectively match our students’ passions with the experts who can teach them all the tricks of the trade.
The NW Rec Center offers anything and everything from co-ed basketball and swim lessons, to guitar lessons and trips to Usher’s Ferry. Best of all is the Rec Center classes run in conjunction with the enrichments KOC already offers! This gives students access to more than double the amount of activities that they were able to choose from last year. Go Team!
I am so happy and excited to be a part of this connection with the wonderful folks at the new rec center. So excited in fact, that the students are telling me that I need to get out of their classroom and get back to work…
Back at my desk though, I can’t help but smile thinking that one of these days the kids who are working on making their first ceramic pot, or struggling to make a free throw, will be starting their own art studio or playing college basketball. I have been so blessed to find myself in a position that allows me to connect our kiddos to something that could potentially change their future. So here is to all of our future chefs, soccer stars, dancers, and gardeners. The world is yours to shape in your own way.
– Tyler Zaruba, Harrison Site Manager