Berkman Elementary Arts Integration Academy (AIA) has a robust offering of after school enrichment. The program kicked off in the fall of 2016 as part of Berkman’s designation as an AIA.
The after school enrichment takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is an extension of the arts offered during the day. To make this program possible, Berkman was awarded a $100,000 Tier II Innovative School Grant from Round Rock ISD. Tier II grants provide up to $100,000 over a one-year period to allow a campus to improve and enhance a current instructional model or design to create a higher quality innovative learning environment.
“After school classes are fun. I love being able to work on my acting and music. It is so cool how we all get to work on things that inspire us and that we want to do,” third-grade student Matthew Rutherford said .
In addition to the many enrichment classes already happening at Berkman AIA, classes including guitar, ukulele, theatrical production and stage design, ballet folklorico, singer songwriting, and a garden club have been added to the offerings beginning in February.
The classes are available for all interested students kindergarten through fifth grade. Utilizing the interests, hobbies and passions of Berkman teachers as well as a few outside partners, 200 students stay after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays to participate in this wide range of class offerings. All students are provided a snack and bus transportation is available for all students.
Berkman Principal Kathy Cawthron said during the day students are exposed to many arts integration strategies in class and enhanced arts as a curriculum during their specials rotations. However, during after school enrichment classes, students get to select areas of individual interest such as ballet, improvisation, violin, scrapbooking, song writing and so much more.
“Our after school enrichment classes have been the icing on the cake for our students this year,” Cawthron said. “We have seen students flourish after exposure to many arts, followed by specific instruction in areas of their choice. We have seen parents beaming with pride for their child as they shine on stage. What is going on for children at Berkman AIA is truly amazing!”