MORE After School, Inc., an independent, after school enrichment program for the elementary school level, is thrilled to announce its expansion to other Westfield elementary schools in the coming school year.
MORE is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and a unique program that offers hands-on, intergenerational learning. It was born three years ago over a kitchen table conversation between a few McKinley mothers who believe in educational excellence. Although all three women have higher degrees, they chose to be stay at home, and are committed—as all parents are—to raising educated, respectful, responsible children who can use their skills to give back to the community.
From these values came the mission of MORE: To provide a supportive environment for creative critical thinking, igniting a passion for learning. To instill a sense of civic responsibility and encourage students to know the many facets of their community, empowering them to improve it. To connect younger and older generations eye-to-eye, project-by-project, and expand the perspective of the people in our community, presenting possibilities of lifelong friendship, learning and invention.
For the past three years, MORE has operated in McKinley elementary school, the Westfield Community Center and Tamaques Park. The 60-minute classes are a great value, have a teacher to student ratio of 1 to 4 and are mostly interdisciplinary. As well as having a teacher, each class has at least two mentors—ideally one high school mentor and one empty nester—who connect with the students through each project and reinforce the intergenerational goal of MORE.
The classes embrace an arts and project-based methodology that focuses on skills acquisition and application. They have included: All About Flight; Millinery: Make A Hat!; Toys: Draw, Design, and Invent; Creative Yoga; Drama Basics; Papermaking; Origami; Chemistry of Cooking; Digital Photography; Bugs, Soil and Seeds; Journalism; Computer Animation; Art, Animals and Assemblage; Investigating Artifacts; Technology, Finance and Travel; World Art; and many others. Additionally, MORE values experimentation and growth—new courses are constantly being developed, and any individuals with ideas for a course are encouraged to bring their curriculum to the board.
It’s easy to provide these learning opportunities in your child’s school and support “an environment where children will learn to love to learn.” All you need to bring MORE to your elementary school is three volunteers. These three liaisons, with full support of the MORE board, would meet with their school’s administrators to discuss room assignments, help choose which classes would be offered, photocopy and distribute course offering half-sheets and marketing materials, administer and collect parent/student surveys, poke in to see how classes are going, and monitor the halls during classes (the monitor could send their kids to MORE classes for free).
So what are you waiting for?
For more information, visit www.moreafterschool.org. With interest, questions, comments, or concerns—whether in relation to MORE’s expansion, or in relation to becoming a mentor or developing your dream course—please contact Melissa Colten, MORE President: 201-208-5653, or firstname.lastname@example.org.