The junior high after hours program completed a full school year of programs with hundreds of students involved in a variety of activities from make your own fruit smoothie to the egg drop.
The after hours program is based on the 4 A’s of academics, awareness, action and arts in offering programs to junior high students. The program is currently at Redmond Junior High and Rosehill Junior High. The program also supports the study lab programs at both schools where students come and get homework help in a variety of subject areas. The goal of the program is to give students fun and creative activities right after school that support academic success combined with fun.
Other community collaborators offer programs both on and off the school site. These have included nature walks at Farrel McWhirter Farm, video game making classes with Children’s Technology Workshop, rock climbing at Vertical World and teen clay at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center to name a few.
“Teens of junior high age are the most vulnerable and idle time can create opportunities of the wrong kind,” says Ken Wong, Teen Programs Director. We offer programs that are fun and supportive to take up some of that time. The program is funded through levy dollars and in collaboration with the Lake Washington School District.”
Some comments of program participants include; great program, we need more smoothies, this is so much fun and why can’t we have pizza everyday.
Each year all seniors in the Lake Washington School District are required to complete a culminating project as a part of their graduation requirements. For the past few years several students have worked with teen center staff on projects that ranged from learning the fundamentals of silk screening to producing a CD of local bands.
This year has been no exception with teens working on the production of the annual Rockathon where students learned how to create a major musical event, find the bands to play, produce a CD and distribute the finished product.
Senior Whitney Ballen says, “I didn’t want to dread my senior project, I wanted it to be something that would help me in the future. I’m very interested in the arts in general and have surrounded myself with people in music. Most of them are from the Eastside and that is how I got the idea for POP425.”
POP425 is the CD Whitney produced at the teen center with the help of staff and generous community donations. To get a copy of POP425, stop by the teen center and talk with staff.