Kadoka Students Relishing Their After-School Crafting Time
Anyone who has a Junior Kindergarten through 8th grade child in the Kadoka Area knows how valuable the after-school program is, not only for the convenience of the parents, but also for the added learning benefits and the wonderful bonding the students get to experience as a group. No matter the day, a quick glance around the great hall during the kids’ walk in from the first part of the program, a little recess, will warm your heart. Every child in view will have an ear to ear smile, an excited expression that will be present ’til the end of the afternoon, and a happiness they can’t hide.
The students have been having a pretty great time this year thanks to this wonderful program they’ve been blessed with. When the students aren’t getting help with their homework or playing outside, they’re doing group crafting sessions and creating cute seasonally themed decorative pieces. Some of these crafts go home with them to be showed off to the rest of their families; others go around town, most recently to the Kadoka Nursing Home for the enjoyment of the residents.
After listening to my 2nd grade daughter go on and on about her love for after-school, I decided to ask her why exactly she loved it so much. “I love that we get to bond with the teachers,” was her immediate response. This being said, credit must be given to the warmhearted individuals that continually provide these kids with a new and surprising plan for each and every day. Without the teachers, this wouldn’t be possible. It takes a wonderful group of creative and dedicated people to keep these kids on their toes and excited about perfecting these little projects, and an even more special group of people to be able to talk a kid into opting to do their homework before participating in these crafts. The Kadoka Area teachers are responsible for both, and these are some individuals that, as a community, we can never appreciate enough!
In addition to offering Homework Help for students 1st grade and up, and fun group projects for all, when sporting events happen to fall on the right day and at the right time, the kids and teachers go for a little walk to attend either a football or volleyball game, each students choice. Good times are also had at the Kadoka City Library on some days, and with the local 4H, seen above, on others. With fun also to be had on Fridays, the kids use these days to work on local bulletin boards, the Kadoka Post Office and Kadoka Clinic being their favorite ones to put their decorative touches on. Though they have plenty of fun with the community places they already interact with, anyone else in the community that would like to connect with them are invited to do so also!
After-school isn’t just for the weekdays and the school year, though. With a new grant, put into effect August 1st of this year and active for 5 years, after-school is now offered not only on Fridays, but throughout the summer as well. This grant has made it possible for students who are a little more of a drive away to be able to attend more often, providing a bus ride to and from Wanblee each day.
Once the last bell of the day rings, things get fun. Students of any grade are offered a snack provided by the school Meal Program, then, after-school kids file outside for a little recess time on the school playground. After 15 or 20 minutes of playtime, kids and teachers head back inside to decide whats next. Students are given the option to head over to the west side of the building for a little Homework Help, or to the east to get a head start on the days activity of choice.
When deciding what activity will be held for the day, the teachers use the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) program to help determine the best educational route for the day. Many of these projects consist of arts and crafts mixed with engineering ideas, like the pumpkin project shown above, to give students some insight into how things are built, as they are building them. These craft projects are usually taken to the Kadoka Nursing Home once a month, and if anyone is interested in donating unwanted crafting supplies, the after-school crew would love to have them!