Students at The Learning Center Charter School have been participating in the school’s summer program called LEAP. LEAP stands for Learning Education Activity Program.
The summer program at the school was created as a result of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and how two school years were affected by it. The 2019-2020 school year abruptly forced students nationwide into online learning. The 2020-2021 school year saw a mix of remote, online learning and limited in-person learning. Plus the addition of social distancing and masks when in-person learning was an option created obstacles as well.
“For absolutely no fault of their own, the last few years of school have been incredibly challenging for students to meet expected academic growth,” said Ryan Bender, head of school for The Learning Center. He added, “Our summer LEAP program was designed as a way to meet students where they are and really help fill gaps and move them forward.”
The LEAP program at the school is running different sessions depending on grade level. Each session lasts four weeks. Students spend time daily learning reading, writing, and working on math fundamentals. Each day includes time outdoors as well as “making” activities including music and visual arts.
Each Spring, TLC holds it’s annual plant sale. All plants are supplied by local grower Sunshine Mountain Farms. Perennials, annuals, hanging baskets and shrubs are all sold with proceeds used to benefit students directly through the purchase of school supplies for the following school year. Thanks for making this year’s sale a success.
Students are seen here creating a new Square Foot Garden on our campus.
Square foot gardening is a simple method of creating small, orderly, and highly productive gardens and was invented by Mel Bartholomew as a better way to grow a vegetable garden. It became a huge hit when he introduced the idea to the gardening public in 1981 in his book Square Foot Gardening.
This endeavor is teaching many things including math, science, teamwork, and an understanding of where food comes from. Students will be planting vegetables, herbs, and flowers in these garden beds.
Each year, our fifth grade students spend the year doing field work with Muddy Sneakers. The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude. Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.
Spring is here and students had a wonderful spring expedition with Muddy Sneakers in April. Students compiled a list of various indicators that spring has arrived.
Students in first grade worked together on a School Maker Faire project all about birds. They had been learning about the building and nesting of Cardinals and Vogelkop Bower birds and took what they learned and ran!
First, students each build a cardinal nest. They learned that the birds use pine needles, weeds, twigs, tree bark, and roots to make their nests. They collected nesting material outdoors and used their engineering skills to build replica nests.
The second project was Vogelkop Bower bird nests. Students learned that this bird uses sticks for the nest roof and moss for the floor. The male bird collects colorful and shiny items to present on the “bower”, or stage, to attract females.
Third graders recently studied plant needs and life cycle. They were so excited to germinate seeds in their desk, dissect and label parts of the seed (seed coat, epicotyl, radical, embryo, and cotyledon) and then learn the parts of a flower by dissecting daffodils.
A special shout out of thanks to the seventh grade class who cleaned up The Outdoor Learning Center during PE. Fresh air, a hike in the woods, and the beautification of campus made for a fun PE session!
Third graders have been studying plant life cycles. Ms. Emily took advantage of the warm sunny days to take students outside to look for fibrous and taproots from living plants among our many campus gardens.
Fourth grade students helped prepare the spring garden as part of science lessons. Students studied the rock and mineral cycle and learned and observed how that relates to soil quality. There is so much to learn in the garden!