Tools available for students, parents through TEAMS
KINGWOOD — In rising to the COVID-19 challenge, the After School Explorers has become an on-line program for the 2020-21 school year.
“ASE wanted to take a minute of the Thanksgiving break to thank ASE staff and students, along with families and Preston County Schools for their continued support.” Theresa Cunningham, ASE Bruceton School site coordinator, said.
She said ASE continues to offer the same services with the same staff, only with virtual hugs this year.
Cunningham said ASE has openings in the TEAMS platform. Families can register their children at https://tinyurl.com/ASE-register. Once registered, each child will receive a passcode to TEAMS. ASE operates from 4- 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
Children and parents are welcome to stop by for math questions, to have a story read or to get help with homework.
Barbara Wade, the behavioral health mentor, is having activities in the Serenity Room to develop coping skills, as well as for students who just need someone to talk to. This service is available to parents as well.
“ASE offers parent support as much as it offers student support,” ASE Program Director Susie Huggins said.
She said ASE is there for parents who just need a minute to start dinner or who are tired of fighting with their child to get a lesson done.
Mikaila Strawser, ASE site coordinator at Terra Alta East Preston School, is working to host Thursday “Make and Takes” for children registered in the ASE program.
Enrolled children will receive craft bags at their host school to take home in advance of the special lessons. On a scheduled date, children will go to TEAMS and complete the craft with Strawser. For a schedule of enrichment events, follow Preston Reads on Facebook.
After School Explorers was able to do more STEM activities last year, according to Central Preston Middle School Site Coordinator Brittany Reed.
She said one of the best enrichments explorers participated in last year was the collaboration project with the Preston County Animal Shelter.
“This was a great community opportunity to educate explorers about proper animal and pet care as well as engage and read to the cats and dogs. It helped both parties greatly. Explorers were able to spread the word and help animals get adopted,” she said.
“After School Explorers is part of our Summer Reading Program held each year. ASE helps provide presenters, materials and field trips for this program. This program encourages the Aurora students to keep reading,” Aurora Site Coordinator Debra Mayfield said.
“Our After School Explorers had great opportunities for community engagement. Many times, explorers walked to nearby businesses to learn more about what was in the county,” Reed said.
She said Explorers could participate in several cleanups of their communities with litter control officers, as well as times to say thank you to many organizations that volunteered and educated their young, inquisitive minds.
“This community connection was a big component for our Explorers. This year, those types of tours and activities will be hosted virtually in the spring,” Huggins said. “By being virtual not only can we support fire safety in the school, ASE can now support fire safety at home by hosting practice fire drills for families virtually during ASE.”
Angel Stull, South Preston site coordinator, said After School Explorers works to achieve greatness throughout the county through this type of programming.
After School Explorers receives funding from two 21st Century Community Learning Center grants, which are provided wholly or in part by the United States Department of Education under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title IV Part B, with grant administration carried out by the West Virginia Department of Education.
For more information on registering for After School Explorers, call 304-288-5244.