When Adams County’s 27J school district decide to move to a four-day student contact week, officials found that one of parents’ biggest concerns was child care for elementary-aged students. …
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When Adams County’s 27J school district decide to move to a four-day student contact week, officials found that one of parents’ biggest concerns was child care for elementary-aged students.
Luckily, group of parents and local business owners came together and volunteered to increase classes or programs offered on Mondays, as well as offering discounts, so students would have alternative educational activities to replace a traditional school day, according to Tracy Rudnick, public information officer for 27J.
Now the district has recognized those groups and individuals, awarding nearly a dozen businesses for their efforts to provide programming for students. The district’s “Reaching In Awards” were presented at the Oct. 23 Board of Education meeting.
“Based on the feedback, the school district decided to provide some full day care on some of our programs,” said Rudnick. “That conversation sparked people talking about what parents and community members could do to help. Some local businesses came to us and said they wanted to provide programming.”
The Art Academy of Colorado, located in Brighton, was one of the businesses who received the award, after they expanded their Monday art classes in drawing, painting, animation and ceramics.
“When I found out 27J wasn’t doing classes on Mondays, I thought `Oh my gosh, they have to have a place to go, so I there more courses on Monday,” said Jim Peters, director of Art Academy of Colorado.
Peters sees the opportunity for students to try something new they wouldn’t have otherwise tried, or for students with a passion for art to have more time to hone their skills.
“Most of the kids who come here really have a passion for the art,” said Peters. “Some are here with parents looking for an outlet on Mondays, and I’ve seen an increase in Monday participants. For whatever reason they’re here, it’s really rewarding for me to see a lightbulb go off when the kids love art.”
According to Rudnick, the diversity of programming offered by local businesses will help enhance the learning experience for students, even though they aren’t in the classroom.
“These programs are exposing students to new things, and allows them to meet new kids,” said Rudnick.
Code Ninjas, in Broomfield, also received the “Reaching In Award,” for offering extended drop-in and earlier hours for 27J students on Mondays.
“We teach kids how to computer program through a game-based curriculum, and have a drop-in after school program year round for students ages seven to 14,” said David Duran, owner/director of Code Ninjas. “I want to reach out to them a little more, and maybe do a code-a-thon on Mondays.”
Having more kids learn coding, according to Duran, not only helps students but also fills a future need for the community.
“There’s a need in our community for coding and programming. In the future, there will be more jobs in the field than there will be graduates,” said Duran.
The school district also awarded several employees and groups within the district the “Reaching Out Award” for their efforts to support the four-day school week.
For more information about district programs, visit sd27j.org. Code Ninja programs can be found at codeninjas.com and Art Academy of Colorado programs can be found at theartacademyofcolorado.com.
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