From papier mache to Spanish, Afternoon Academy offers plenty
The Afternoon Academy at Tonganoxie Elementary School certainly has diverse classes.
On a Monday, for instance, some students build bat houses, while others are involved in dance and craft classes.
On Tuesdays, another art class is offered, while drama and papier mache classes also are on the schedule. Oh, and some students are involved in a self-defense class also.
Bat house construction
Crafts from nature
"There's a lot of involvement," said Earleta Morey, director of the Community Education and Volunteer Center, which sponsors the classes. "Kids really enjoy the classes, and I've had some good PR about it. Kids coming back say they really enjoyed it and that they had a good time."
The program, which started last week, runs through March 16. Classes are Mondays through Thursdays, except during the last week, when classes finish up on a Wednesday.
Overall, this year's Afternoon Academy has 160 students, a number Morey is said is par for the course.
"We've added a couple of classes," Morey said. "You can only take so many students per class depending what type of class it is. Like chess, you don't want more than about 12."
Self-defense and knitting classes are two new additions to the academy's lineup, as is a bat-house class. But as Morey said, that class is similar to previous classes, such as the rocket-ship class, in that it involves using tools to build a project.
Chip Marquardt, who was the instructor for the rocket-ship building class, also is heading the bat-house class. The academy has other adult volunteers helping with various classes. Michelle DeVeau is teaching arts and crafts for kindergarten through second grade, while Janet Felts has third- and fourth-grade art. Shirley Welch is in charge of papier mache class, while Jennifer Fatherley is instructing the self-defense class. Sandra Myers has crochet class, while David Burkemper is teaching chess and Peachez Joles is teaching the Spanish classes. Morey, meanwhile, is teaching knitting to the elementary students.
High school students also are volunteering for the academy. Shadoe Barton and Katie Pestock are teaching drama class, while Lindsey Starcher and Holly Heintzelman head the dance classes.
Morey would like to offer more classes, but she only has so many volunteers and limited space.
"I had to turn away quite a bit," Morey said. "Quite a lot of the students were rejected, and I hate to do that."
If Morey can attract more volunteers, she hopes more students will be able to enroll.
"It would be nice if we could get some people who would be willing to teach a class and maybe we could arrange something," Morey said.
Anyone interested in volunteering to teach future Afternoon Academy classes may call Morey at the Volunteer Center at (913) 845-2646.