Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Enrichment Cluster Showcase: A Celebration of Learning and Serving

"Amazing kids!  Big hearts!"  This was the caption attached to some pictures I recently received from a parent who was helping with one of  the enrichment clusters here at Austin Elementary.  I must say, she got it right...I couldn't have said it better myself!

Over the last nine weeks, our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade learners have been doing amazing things as they explored their interests, developed skills and talents within those interests, and found ways to use what they were learning to make a difference in our world.  Each group of 11-12 learners came together nine weeks ago with only a common interest and a vague idea of what they were going to do with it.  Through hard work, perseverance, and lots of creative problem solving that vague idea began to grow.

It was an incredible process to watch.  Each week, the learners became more excited about, not only what they were doing, but also why they were doing it.  They couldn't wait to tell me about the service animals they were making chew toys for, the foster children they were creating and filling stockings for, or the women and children who would be receiving the clothes, hats, and head bands they were designing.  I learned about live video announcements from the "Broadcasting" cluster, the needs of foster animals from "Cause for Paws," and the ins and outs of auction planning from the young artists in "We're in an Uproar."  These kids were beyond excited!  They were passionate, focused, and intent on making things happen!  Were they having fun?  Absolutely!  But more importantly, they were finding out what it means to be passionate about a cause and to give everything you have to accomplish a goal.  I am so proud of the learners, educators, and parents who made this happen. Please take a few minutes to watch the video below.  I know you will be proud of them too!

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