They waved their arms to loosen up. They used colored duct tape to make bracelets. They talked about nutrition and fitness.
Students at were participating in a variety of activities Feb. 9 as part of the after-school Discovery Clubs, an eight-week period in which teachers lead drama, art, Spanish and running clubs that meet for an hour each Thursday. The clubs began meeting Jan. 19.
“The Discovery Clubs are a great way to provide enrichment activities and for teachers to showcase their talents,” said Principal Kristin Tonelli.
Registration opened Jan. 13, and all the available spots in each of the clubs were taken 15 minutes later.
Gina Giordano, media specialist at Lewis, leads the Drama Club offered to fourth- and fifth-grade students. Students unleash their creative talents by learning acting techniques, improvisation skills, and how to be comfortable performing for an audience.
“Students love playing improvisation games, such as ‘story-story,’” Giordano said. “This game involves the students telling a story while their partner pantomimes the events. They also love performing scenes in front of the class. My goal of drama club is help students come out of their shell by encouraging them to be comfortable with who they are.”
The Art Club is an imaginative romp through earring, bracelet, cell phone and 3-D sculpture construction using duct tape. Led by art teacher Joy Tremblay, this club is open to fourth- and fifth-graders.
The Spanish Club, open to second- and third-graders, is led by AGP teacher Marlene Gutierrez. Students learn about the language, customs and culture of a variety of Spanish-speaking countries.
The Running Club combines lessons on nutrition with running drills. Students are encouraged to think about making wise nutritional choices and to set personal goals for good health habits. Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders participate in organized sporting games, such as kickball or basketball, running drills and discussions on fitness.
“Today we’re making smoothies and talking about healthy breakfast cereals after practicing running drills on the back field,” said fourth-grade teacher Nicole Meyerson Feb. 9.
PTA member Bonnie Salazar said her son, Everett, is involved in the Running Club and loves it.
“He looks forward to Thursdays,” she said. “I’m very excited that the teachers have agreed to offer their time and Mrs. Tonelli took the initiative. The clubs are a product of great cooperation between parents and teachers to benefit the kids.”
Students who didn’t register in time for the current clubs might have a chance to participate in them in the future.
“The demand is definitely there for these programs,” Tonelli said. “We’d like to offer another round in April and May and possibly over the summer as well.”