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Wellness, nature, cooking and science among the free virtual classes for 509-J students

PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTER - A student makes Walking Tacos as part of the Jefferson County Community Learning Center's Cooking Dreams beginning cooking course for kids.

Art, technology, conservation and music are just a few of the topics students can explore in a new series of enrichment classes that begin the week of Jan. 11.

Jefferson County Community Learning Center offers Jefferson County 509-J School District students and families a variety of free, virtual classes.

"Enrichment classes provide students the opportunity to develop social and emotional skills, be creative, and have unique learning experiences with instructors who are passionate in their field," said Katie Boyle, director of the Jefferson County Community Learning Center.

Families must register their students for the Session 2 enrichment classes. Most are conducted after school and last for nine weeks. During Comprehensive Distance Learning, enrichment programming is virtual and aligned with the district's chosen platform, Google Classroom and Meet.

"Classes are designed to provide all students the opportunity to learn and enhance their skills in academics, hands-on CTE/STEAM curriculum, and provide family engagement opportunities for all 509-J students and families," Boyle said. "We strive to provide opportunities that extend beyond what they experience during the traditional school day."

She said the district's goals in offering these enrichment classes are to raise students' academic performance to meet state standards; increase student readiness for college and careers; to engage families in their students' education; and to improve students' physical and mental health. JCCLC programming is designed to complement the district's regular academic programs.

Boyle said the district has learned through evidence-based practice that the most effective supports for academic success are extended academic programs; active parent-community involvement, incorporating cultural values and beliefs; and expanded opportunities for school to work programs within the community.

Community partners and district staff develop the elective classes.

"These high-interest, student-chosen electives explore new experiences offered during non-school hours that they normally wouldn't learn in the typical school day," Boyle said. "Our classes are high engagement and based on student interest."

JCCLC offers several other services in addition to the enrichment classes.

District teachers provide virtual academic tutoring through the center Monday through Thursday. High school students can work as peer tutors. Additionally, JCCLC offers summer acceleration programs to help students prepare for the next grade level.

PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTER - Students made Walking Tacos with this Cooking Dreams food kit. JCCLC also offers "grab and go" classes, including the SMART Reading monthly book distribution and a Cooking Dream's course where meal kits are provided for the whole family.

Each month, JCCLC offers family engagement activities that can be picked up from two locations on the third Wednesday or Thursday of the month. A Virtual Paint Night is Jan. 22, with material distribution on Jan. 20 and 21 from Warm Springs K-8 and Bridges High School.

JCCLC was established with an Oregon Department of Education State 21st Century grant received in October 2018. There are three centers. The center at Jefferson County Middle School encompasses Metolius, Buff and Madras elementary schools, as well as JCMS students. The second center is located at the Warm Springs K-8 Academy, serving K-8 grade students, and the third at Madras High School, serving students in grades 9-12.

The centers provide academic enrichment, including tutoring in math, reading, writing, homework assistance, and Native language classes; CTE/STEAM, including career exploration, out of school programs, internships, mentoring, and STEAM camps and labs along with physical and mental health programs; and family engagement, which includes Family University, focusing on literacy, English language and other classes.

For the most current information, follow the Jefferson County Community Learning Center Facebook page, which has links to registration forms and Google Site homepage: https://sites.google.com/509j.net/21stcclcjcms/home.

PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTER - Jefferson County Community Learning Center offers several enrichment classes for Jefferson County 509-J School District students. Most classes begin the week of Jan. 11 and continue for nine weeks.

Session 2 enrichment classes

The Jefferson County Community Learning Center is offering several enrichment classes for local students.

All Session 2 enrichment classes are free for Jefferson County 509-J School District students. The virtual classes begin the week of Jan. 11 and most continue for nine weeks. Families must register their students online at https://bit.ly/3iAmyVc. Students will then be registered in a Google Classroom for the chosen class and receive an invitation to their whitebuffalos email address.

Enrichment classes this session include:

STREAM Connections happens each Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. Darek Staab of Trout Unlimited and Jenna Keeton with Middle Deschutes Watershed Council will collaborate on watershed education classes for third, fourth and fifth grade students.

Mental Health Specialist Kristina McElroy will offer Wellness Workshops Monday through Thursday at varying times depending on age group. She will introduce students to new skills that enhance their personal, academic and social well-being.

Central Oregon Middle School Mentor Kevin Ball will teach an art class series and mentorship program through Caldera Arts for middle schoolers each Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Brian Gallagher is offering Esports for middle school students to practice computer science skills and sportsmanship. This class is from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.

Karen Gentry and Becky Yaeger of Discover Your Forest will guide third through fifth grade students in a deep dive into the animal kingdom. This class is from 4 to 5 p.m. each Thursday.

Beat Children's Theatre presents Imagination Station for kindergarten, first and second grade students from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Students will participate in live exercises and games designed to inspire and cultivate an active imagination.

JCCLC offers a free typing class from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Metolius Elementary School music teacher Emma Benson will teach Children's Choir to third through fifth graders from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday and Thursday.

Warm Springs K-8 Academy music teacher Andres Rodriguez will teach Electronic Music Production 101 to sixth through eighth grade students from 4 to 6 p.m. each Wednesday.

The center will provide online adult English as a second language classes for all 509-J families and community members.

Barre Above classes fuse Pilates, yoga, aerobics and strength training. Classes include modifications for any fitness level.

Cooking Dreams is a beginning cooking course designed for kids. Meal kits are provided. Students must sign up one week before the meal kit pick up.

Students in the SMART Reading program will be provided two books a month. Virtual read alouds are available for students in kindergarten and first grade.

For more information about these enrichment classes, call 541-475-0388, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit https://sites.google.com/509j.net/21stcclcjcms/home.


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