By Kristin Rover
Teachers at Batavia Elementary School are implementing enrichment programs that are helping students receive additional learning opportunities during school.
Batavia Local School District Superintendent Jill Grubb said the elementary school has organized enrichment programs that include art, physical education, and music.
“It’s been very successful,” Batavia Elementary School Principal Renee Munro said.
Munro said students are selected to participate in the different enrichment programs.
She said the students spend about 40 minutes once a week participating in art, PE or music enrichment.
Teachers who participate in the enrichment program talked with board members about what they have been doing during the March 17 board meeting.
Randy Jones, a PE teacher at the elementary school, said he has been using the NFL Play 60 program for the PE enrichment.
Jones said NFL Play 60, a campaign designed to tackle childhood obesity by getting children active through in-school, after school and team based programs, has worked well.
“We all know about the epidemic of childhood obesity, and why PE is important,” Jones said.
He said PE is also important because getting additional physical activity helps children focus better in the classroom.
Courtney Wilkens, an art teacher at the elementary school, said the enrichment has given students time to improve their skills in art.
“They really enjoy enrichment time,” Wilkens said.
Wilkens said the benefits of art in general include an increase in motor skills development, decision making skill, visual spacial learning and more.
She said they have been working on a variety of art-related activities during enrichment and give students a chance to be inventive.
“Our students have been really excited about this program,” Wilkens said. “This program does not exist in other districts I’ve been a part of.”
Munro spoke for music teacher Karen Allen, who couldn’t attend the board meeting.
Munro said Allen has created a choir program at the elementary school that also serves as an enrichment program for students.
“She takes her kids and she auditions them,” Munro said. “She has probably 100 kids try out for this program.”
She said the students participate in several performances throughout the year including a spring concert and a Christmas concert at the Batavia Township Christmas Tree Lighting event.
Munro said they have been pleased with the art, PE, and music enrichment at the district.
“Our goal is to encourage students in these areas,” Munro said.