Entheos Academy continues enrichment program throughout the pandemicApr 03, 2022 07:40PM ● By Liz Craker
A student logs experiences during an Adventure program trip. (Photo courtesy of Entheos Academy)
By Liz Craker | [email protected]
Entheos Academy, a service learning public charter school in Magana and Kearns, has found creative methods to keep its enrichment programs running the past two years in spite of pandemic restrictions.
“We've found ways to safely continue the Discovery program for our kindergarten through eighth-grade students, along with our middle school Adventure program, during the pandemic,” Service Learning Director Manager Melanie Louviere said. “Instead of leaving campus for activities or bringing people into the school, instructors taught things they already knew or learned new skills.”
Prior to the pandemic, the Discovery program classes were led by people in the community. “We feel that it is important for the school and the students to have those community relationships,” Louviere said.
"As Discovery Coordinator, I enjoy that I am able to search and find classes that will allow our student body to explore unique and different classes,” Alicia Seely said. “At the end of their session, whether they enjoyed the class or not, they stepped out of their comfort zone and tried something new. They learned something new about themselves.”
According to Louviere, the Discovery enrichment program has been in place several years and is at no cost to students. “This gives students an opportunity to find new interests and skills regardless of talent level and financial situation,” Louviere said. “It offers students from lower- income families opportunities they might not be able to do otherwise.”
The grade levels choose topics for month-long projects, and the groups have been meeting one afternoon a week either during the school day or outside school hours. The program has included classes such as coding, science, Zumba, pickleball, Quidditch, fine arts, sports, sewing, floral design, leather crafting, stage makeup, glass fusing and culture-related projects.
“Even though it looked different, students were still able to do all these things during the pandemic,” Louviere said. She added that this year the program was able to go back to in-person programming by bringing back outside instructors.
In addition to the Discovery program, the Adventure program has been able to again take students out in the field for hands-on learning while camping in various tourist places like Dinosaur National Monument and Moab. Each trip includes six to eight students for a three-day, two-night trip. “The programming is built around current curriculum and includes some service work,” Louviere said
The sixth-grade group goes to Cedar City to study archeology and ancient civilizations, ecosystems, mountains and deserts. The seventh-grade group goes to Moab as part of a combination of Utah studies class and career and college awareness.
“Our school believes that all students have skills and talents, and these programs give them an opportunity to use those,” Louviere said. “It is such an important opportunity for them, and it builds their confidence and skills.”