The North Bend Eagle

 

After school program helping NBE students, families

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 1/11/17

According to a Pew Research Center survey from November 2015, nearly half (46 percent) of all two-parent families in the United States have both parents working outside the home. And then there are the single parent homes with the parent working.

As a service to these children and their families, North Bend Central Elementary School offered an after school program at the start of this school year.

NBC after schoolFourth grader Jade Nunn and second grader Mavrick Wesely work with para Deb Erpeding to test the strength of their gumdrop and toothpick structure.

NBE principal Tessie Beaver addressed the school board last February about the possibility of having an after school program. Teachers Morgan Root and Katie Prenzlow worked with Beaver to come up a proposal that they presented at the March meeting. It was proposed that the time include a snack, recreation, homework time, club activity and games. At the March 2016 meeting the school board approved the program.

Fast forward to this week. Principal Beaver reports that the program is doing well. It can take up to 45 students with the staffing they have. For now, the programs serves 25 to 30 students a day. Beaver said the program gets kids from all NBE grades kindergarten through fifth grade.

Mark Brower is the teacher overseeing the program, assited by para Deb Erpelding. High school students lending a hand and working on a part time basis include Elena Wright, Ella Endorf, Aaliyah Scott, Trevor Nelson, Shelby Dunn and Emerson Peters.

The after school program starts with a snack provided by the school. The time is divided into 30-minute segments. The students have 30 minutes to do their homework and 30 minutes of activity, with the third through fifth graders together and the kindergarten through second graders together. If a student doesn’t have homework, they can play a game or puzzles.

“The kids have a opportunity to choose what they want to do after all the regular assigned activities are finished,” Beaver said. “We have lots of games that were purchased with money from the NBC Foundation.”

In October the students made a Halloween movie. They wrote the script, made the background and the props, did the acting, and with the help of some tech people at the high school, filmed it. It was published so just the members of the school can see it. This was a project was student driven and involved all the kids.

This winter they made oobleck, learning about properties of solids, liquids and gasses. Oobleck, from a Dr. Suess book, is solid when squeezed but when the hand is opened, it runs through your fingers.

Near the end of November, the students started learned about coding using their bodies to help with the introduction. Erpelding taught them the commands that would be on the keyboard but showed them hand signals that went along with them. They put paper on the gym floor and one child pretended to be a robot and another was the programmer. Based on the signals that the programmer was giving, the robot had to follow a path to the end.

 

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