A new focus on student choice has been ignited at Edison this spring.  During lunchtime, students can choose from a variety of enrichment clusters to learn new skills and participate in student led discovery. 

Twenty teachers have volunteered in the program to help students learn about topics in which they have an interest.  Over 200 students have participated in a variety of enrichment clusters including astronomy, strategy games, word puzzles, shark tank, debate, baby sitter certification, project earth, travel planning, rescue shelter advocacy, homeless alliance and many others.

Enrichment clusters are different than your garden variety club in that they meet during the school day, they are student centered, and they culminate in some sort of project or service at the end of the year.  David Parke, a seventh grade science teacher at the school heads up the strategy game enrichment cluster. “We’ve got a great group of kids learning how to play a variety of games that involve strategy, logic and math.  For our final project we’re looking to go to a nearby elementary school to teach the younger kids how to play chess.”

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Mary Asfendis, Assistant Principal of the school, was very pleased with the success of the enrichment clusters.   “The program was a modification of the School Wide Enrichment Model from Joseph Renzulli at the University of Connecticut,” she explained.  “It was a great opportunity for students to explore their interests in greater depth.  I am very happy with the number of opportunities for students and the number of sessions offered in this first attempt at clusters,” she added.

The response from students and teachers that are part of the project has been extremely positive.  Edison is looking to make the enrichment clusters an additional way to provide student choice for years to come.