Emphasizing literacy, enrichment, life skills, and movement-based “brain breaks”, Community Housing Partners Resident Services is engaging elementary school students in a new after-school program called ‘Discovery Zone’.
Parents of elementary-age children in grades first through sixth, living in CHP-owned Christiansburg property Linden Green should contact their local resident services coordinator to learn more about the program.
The not-for-profit CHP, trainer and affordable housing advocate, provides housing opportunities and related services to low-income individuals and families across the southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States.
Debuting this school year, Discovery Zone program focuses on social and emotional learning.
“Through Discovery Zone, the kids have learned self-value, how to take care of themselves emotionally, their surroundings, where they live and others in their community,” said Wendy Schleich, Senior Resident Services Coordinator of Linden Green Apartments.
“Staff help kids with literacy and encourage character-building, life skill development, and fun. The program is currently being offered at 15 CHP properties in Virginia and Florida with plans to expand,” a CHP announcement said.
The Discovery Zone after-school program provides lessons and activities that help young people explore and express themselves, their emotions, and their relationship with others.
Schleich has led classes already in which children have made posters using their own portraits, sharing something that they love about themselves under their portraits.
“We placed them on the Community Center door so they could share with their community and family.Kids also painted self-portraits, did activities centered around self-awareness, and read books about kindness,” she said.
CHP said that plans for the new afterschool program began in May of last year with the formation of the Youth Education Taskforce, or YET. The YET team, including resident services coordinators, met weekly to develop the new program. Each team member focused on, and became the team expert in, one of four main program areas: literacy, enrichment, life skills, and “brain breaks” (movement-based activities).
The YET members also serve as mentors to other staff who are implementing the program at their own properties, according to CHP.
To learn more about CHP, please visit www.communityhousingpartners.org.