Thursday, October 15, 2015

Making the most of fall at LCS Afterschool!

Fall might bring us drab, wet weather, but the kids at the Lincoln After School Program know how to make the most of days like these! Wednesday’s student-directed project involved building a fantastic slide fort, using the Japanese knotweed from the LCS Nature Trail, piles of fallen leaves, and many pairs of hands. The fort not only looked impressive, but it was also a nice dry spot to hang out together.


Because the fort wasn’t big enough to accommodate everyone at once but was so much fun to put together and play in, students were inspired to create smaller forts on the other structures.

As awesome as the forts were, I wondered if it was a good idea to be taking so much nature from the trail. I soon learned from one of our fourth-graders that the Japanese knotweed grows very aggressively and is considered an invasive species in Vermont. This information shifted my perspective on the project, since now I know that the knotweed we took will replace itself in no time!

Another exciting project at Lincoln ASP this week involved an amazing experiment with milk, food coloring, and dishwashing soap. Students filled bowls with milk, then added drops of food coloring in their own unique patterns. Then we dipped a Q-tip into the dishwashing soap and touched it to the milk. Because the milk has a higher surface tension than the soap, it moves away from where the soap touches it, pulling the food coloring along with it and creating beautiful streams of color.

As we begin to incorporate more STEAM* projects into our program, we would love to share things we’ve done and what we’ve learned so far with the community. High quality afterschool programs are proven to accelerate student achievement by contributing to greater rates of school attendance, better behavior in the learning environment, and improvements in coursework. 

A great way for us to showcase our program is to participate in the 16th annual Lights On Afterschool event. LOA is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, an organization whose goal is to ensure that all youth have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs. We will have our LOA event on Wednesday, October 21st. You can stop by the LCS multipurpose room between 4 and 5:30 to see some highlights of what has been going on at ASP this year. We hope to see you there!

*STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math

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