Upper Arlington News

After school is a time for discovery at Wickliffe Progressive School

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Brianna Rodgers assists magician Drew Murray with a trick during a magic class offered as part of the Wickliffe After-School Discovery program on Monday, Feb. 24, at the school, 1950 N. Mallway Drive in Upper Arlington.

From stepping into the shoes of a wicked Snow Queen in Frozen, mastering the art of illusion in a magic class or getting the chance to interact with animals from the Columbus Zoo, Wickliffe Progressive School students are delving into a variety of offerings this year in the After-School Discovery program.

Parent organizer Dana Grimes said the most popular classes so far have been ones about soccer, yoga, chess, dance and one involving the use of Lego blocks, along with the two zoo programs.

"The main goal of the program is to provide a variety of affordable and fun enrichment that takes place right on the school grounds," she said.

The hip-hop dance class is taught by Colleen Creghan and the magic class is taught by local master magician Carroll Baker, who performs all over Columbus.

"Both my children participate in the program and like it very much," Grimes said. "My daughter is currently doing basketball and drama and my son is in the chess club.

"My favorite thing about the program is that most of the classes are offered at the school, so there is no driving across town or going out in the evenings."

She said the Columbus Zoo classes are especially popular, since zoo personnel bring live animals with them, such as opossums, snakes and kestrels for the Ohio Wildlife Treasures class or animals that live in the rainforest for a class about the tropical rainforest.

The Lego club has a different theme each week and provides students with "tons of bricks."

Grimes teaches the Lego class and said students learn to build several Lego creations and design their own mini-figure to use with each design.

In the "Theatre: Kid Written, Kid Performed" class, taught by Wickliffe parent Sarae Pacetta, students write an original play together, then work to develop the story. They use recycled materials to build sets and props.

The cooking class is taught by representatives from Local Matters and the chess club is taught by F. Leon Wilson from the Chess Learning Center, a scholastic affiliate of the United States Chess Federation.

Costs for each class range from $17 for the zoo classes to $80 for the Local Matters cooking class.

"The program costs are covered by the fees and those fees are typically determined by the instructor," Grimes said. "I then add a small fee on top of that for the PTO. Parents are getting a decent value and the After-School Discovery chair does all the scheduling and payments."

The program also offers classes outside the school at the Clay Cafe, the Racquet Club and BeYoga and Wellness.

"Parents sometimes come up with class ideas or I just think about things my children like to do and look into those options," Grimes said. "A lot of these classes have been in place for the past couple of years, so I just continued those relationships. I'm always receptive to new ideas."

Information about the After-School Discovery program is available online at wickliffepto.org.