Academic enrichment programs are incorporated into our curriculum and offered as after-school opportunities. The after-school academic enrichment programs are independent, on-campus offerings by qualified instructors and specifically organized to enhance areas of interest for our students. These different programs are typically six weeks long and planned for particular age groups. The two different types of programs offered are described here.
At the Lower Elementary level field trips include visits to the Ludwick Farm, WNIT Studio tour, Round Barn Theater, the Bodine Fish Hatchery, Bonneville Mill, and local production plays at I.U.S.B. and St. Mary’s College.
At the Upper Elementary level these trips include Swamp Stomp, the fourth grade Civil War Center for History trip, the Sixth Grade Asian field trip, HealthWorks Kids’ Museum, Leeper Park Cabin Days, The Snite Museum of Art, the Garfield Comic Strip Museum, the Notre Dame Planetarium, Chicago Field Museum, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Kalamazoo Air Zoo, and an overnight to Camp Eberhart.
At the Junior High level field trips include studying art in the museums of Chicago, learning firsthand about government during a week in Model UN in New York City, and studying biology and the environment at the Great Smokey Mountain Institute in Tremont, Tennessee. There is also a leadership-building experience through a class trip to Camp Tecumseh, a visit to the Notre Dame Planetarium, diverse places of worship (during study of world religions), as well as performances at the University of Notre Dame. All these experiences extend the learning that goes on in the classroom and help students connect to global and national communities.
Elementary and Junior High students enjoy visits to a farm, wooded areas, and wetlands, as well as other natural environments. Children participate in caring for animals and studying the ecosystem.
Additionally, children tend to the many gardens at MAEL: the Early Childhood peace garden, Upper Elementary flower gardens, and the Junior High prairie. A larger Unity vegetable garden is in the planning stages.
Each year, the Junior High is responsible for running all aspects of a Friday school lunch service, known as “Pizza Fridays,” from which all MAEL students and staff can pre-order meals. Students assume all of the responsibility in running this pizza business, including coordinating orders, managing the money, grocery shopping, prepping food, and serving the school community. In addition to the basic economics lessons, students learn first-hand about decision making, problem solving, and management skills.
The Junior High divides its profits giving a third to charity, a third to MAEL, and a third for class social activities.
Spanish Student Exchange Program
Our Spanish teacher, Senora Aida, coordinates an exchange program lasting about eight weeks during the fall semester. Last year MAEL families hosted students from Guatamala who then fully participated in our MAEL Upper Elementary and Junior High classrooms.
Elementary students are invited to explore an aspect of art--whether ceramics, oil painting, or mixed-media.
Students in the Upper Elementary and Junior High are invited to our annual introduction to band, early in the school year. Instruments will be introduced and discussed. Our band practice is before and during school hours. Performances are during the school year, often during school assemblies.
Coordinated by the South Bend Civic Theater, our drama program offers Elementary and Junior High students the opportunity to write and perform their own play. Rehearsals are on-campus after school with a performance at The South Bend Civic in downtown South Bend for friends and family.
The First Lego League Corporation issues a yearly challenge; this year it is “Nature’s Fury.” Coaches will guide fourth through eighth grade students in building, programming, and preparing a robot that will solve the challenge for the competition in November. This is a ten-week session starting in late August and meeting weekly after school.
There will also be a non-competitive team for third-year students.
Other programs offered include tae kwon do, cheerleading, experimental science, soccer shots for Early Childhood, and a variety of music and movement activities.
If you would like to learn more about enrichment opportunities at MAEL, please contact us.