The ESS Panda Clubs are after-school enrichment programs sponsored by the ESS PTA. Panda Club offers after-school activities in three sessions during the school year: Fall, Winter, and Spring. Clubs include everything from karate to journalism to art, sports, drama, Spanish, and more!
Over a period of 10 weeks, kids in the 3rd through 5th grade participate in an after-school program like no other. Designed to allow every child to recognize his or her inner strength, the Run Club curriculum inspires them to define their lives on their own terms. Throughout the season, kids make new friends, build their confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique.
Run Club lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges kids face at this age. They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences. We look at the importance of team work and healthy relationships. And, finally, the kids explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world.
Physical activity is woven into our program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end of the three month session, the kids can opt participate in Takoma Park 5K event (TKPK5k). This celebratory, non-competitive event is the culminating experience of the curriculum. Completing the 5K gives kids a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the kids realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible.
CREATE’s smARTkids program offers low income students a free after school program to develop creative projects and practice academic and social skills. Teachers and counselors select students who are at risk of falling behind in their school life. Through structured art projects, students build self-confidence, improve academic skills, practice organizational tasks, improve their ability to communicate with their peers, concentrate to finish projects, and build on their imaginations.
The small group atmosphere builds students’ self- esteem and strengths their social skills with their peers. At the end of each session, each group invites family, friends and teachers to an Art Show to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work. The students exhibit the art projects they’ve worked hard to make – which may be paintings, drawings, or clay sculptures – as well as their art journals, and talk about their art creations. This community gathering supports the students’ success and growth process. The smARTkids program has been successful in improving the children’s attitude towards self, school and learning by giving them a sense of accomplishment and pride through the completion of art projects and being a valued member of a group.
In our small classes, we create many art projects that allow us to practice new art techniques, listen to stories, have informal discussions, eat healthy snacks, and listen and talk with each other. Students are encouraged to express themselves through art and Art Teachers provide them with opportunities to practice reading, writing, and public speaking.