This past summer, Corlears launched a newly revamped after school program called Corlears Plus. With a renewed mission, structure and expanded options, the goal of Corlears Plus is to provide students with the same enrichment they experience throughout the day, and extend that well beyond 3:15pm. With Corlears’ values at its core, Corlears Plus is proving to be a positive addition to the school.
The decision to redesign the afternoon programming allowed for further examination of the elements that make Corlears such a special learning environment. Drawing from the school’s educational philosophy and values, this program was designed to reflect those elements while also providing students with choices that are fun, and different from what they might experience during a regular school day. The addition of new classes gave way for more varied opportunities for exploration, learning and play. This year, students can choose from a multitude of classes including the newly added Cooking with Benna and Book Club with Kelly. With more classes taught by Corlears educators, students have the opportunity to interact with familiar faces in new ways. In addition to broadened choice, ensuring equity for all students and families was, and remains a priority that has greatly impacted this programmatic shift. As part of Corlears Plus’ launch, financial aid has expanded to all specialty classes, with the goal of providing students more opportunities to explore their varied interests and foster new talents.
“What’s in a name?” Well, a lot! As part of the redesign process, the opportunity to create an appropriate name was presented. Corlears Plus was chosen as a reflection of the commitment to Corlears’ goals and philosophy as an essential part of the program. As a true extension of the school, each afternoon at Corlears Plus (or “Plus”, the nickname adopted by students and faculty) is facilitated with the aim to provide the same opportunities for learning, playing, and growing that happens during each school day. During their time in Plus, Students are given the time and space to make choices, interact with friends and play in ways that are developmentally appropriate, enriching and fun. Alex Gelman, Director of Auxiliary Programs and Community Engagement says “Corlears has always felt like one big family to me, and it's amazing to see that familial spirit come to life in Corlears Plus. Students from different classrooms get to come together to eat, play, learn, and form friendships on top of those they get to nurture during the regular school day. Plus has become this vibrant community that kids really take pride in being a part of.”
As sense of community remains at the core of Plus programming. Each Plus session begins with a communal snack time where students sit together to enjoy a healthful snack that will fuel them through the rest of their afternoon. Snack also serves as an important time for students across grade levels to establish relationships, make new bonds and expand their community outside of their immediate classroom. Beyond just the student body, Plus has also expanded the Corlears community of caring adults that interact with our students. Choice Time facilitators Theresa and Samora have quickly bonded with students, and those interactions have become an essential part of the school day for students who attend Plus.
Corlears Plus has expanded the way students are nurtured within the walls of the school. Afternoons continue to be a forum for exploration, developing new skills and nurturing new relationships. Each day at Plus is shaped by a commitment to Corlears’ values, and then brought to life by the energy and enthusiasm each student brings. Witnessing the excitement students feel about being part of this program, it is clear that Plus really does add value to the school day.
To learn more about Corlears Plus, click here.