Rio Grande Educational Collaborative stands out from other after-school learning programs in numerous ways, with our enrichment partners being one of the key resources that set us apart. These partners include local and national organizations, as well as professionals in our community, that provide unique ways for our students to explore the world in fun and unexpected ways.
The relationships we have with enrichment partners, like Instituto Cervantes, Lemonade Day, and Born to Draw allow us to offer a much broader range of learning options than competing programs, and keep students engaged. Giving kids access to this type of enrichment is essential for boosting learning and exploration.
By leveraging the support and expertise of enrichment partners, RGEC allows children to explore and learn outside of normal classroom studies. Due to funding cuts, topics like art and natural sciences are becoming more and more rare in New Mexico schools. When it comes to activities like enhancing science and math studies with lessons in LEGO robotics, most schools don’t have the time or the money.
We have chosen to work with partners, such as the educational organizations Born to Draw and Tools for Learning, to incorporate structured learning in different areas that kids often don’t get to explore during the school day. Enrichment partners in the arts and sciences allow RGEC to integrate new learning models and subjects into our after-school curriculum. Children get to choose which enrichment activities they participate in, offering them a chance for personal growth and exploring subjects and ideas they may not see during the school day.
Many of the organizations we work with will train our staff to implement their tested curricula for our students. In some cases, these partnerships bring in subject matter experts so kids can learn directly from scientists, engineers, and other people in the community. In the past, we have collaborated with the local company CB Technologies, whose team members have taught kids about animation and media production for digital story telling. Students in our programs have been able to explore different art activities with Born to Draw, and improve math and reading skills with the help of New Mexico PBS kid-focused programming.
If you’d like to learn more about Rio Grande Educational Collaborative’s enrichment partners in the meantime, contact us today!
At Rio Grande Educational Collaborative, we are committed to creating quality after-school programs that enrich the lives and education of our students. Our program is divided into two parts – dedicated homework time and help, and our enrichment programs. Today we’d like to introduce you to our enrichment programs, and how we structure the day so kids can enjoy exploratory activities with real learning underneath.
The RGEC program is designed to augment instruction in core subjects, and also offer additional lessons in areas that are no longer offered, or are minimally offered, within a regular school day. This means that students in our program will have the opportunity to engage in fun learning activities that teach skills in math and reading, along with other topics such as arts and music, games and sports, drama, nature and science, computers, and nutrition and fitness.
With a range of grade levels and topics that we cover, kids are divided into groups so they can rotate through the different activities. The groups are split with kindergarten through second graders learning about one topic, while third through fifth grade students engage in another topic.
For example, we may offer enrichment classes in science and drama on Monday and Wednesday, and then the kids will have a lesson in a non-core area on Tuesday and Thursday.
In a single week, students may learn about robotics from a visiting expert on engineering and then learn the basics of starting and running a business using the Lemonade Day curriculum. Over the course of the week, all kids will rotate through each lesson.
All students in our program must complete their homework before they can participate in enrichment activities. If homework isn’t finished within that hour, these students will have extra help from a member of our staff. Once all homework is complete, students can rejoin the group for the day’s lessons.
RGEC makes after-school time easy and fun for families and kids. Our goal is to enhance the education that kids receive during the school day, while also providing professional care and homework help.
To learn more about Rio Grande Educational Collaborative, explore more of our website, or call us today! We look forward to talking with you!
Today we’d like to introduce you to another of Rio Grande Educational Collaborative’s key enrichment partners, Born to Draw. Created by a teacher with more than 20 years’ experience teaching art to kids, this program gives children the opportunity to learn creative expression along with techniques of drawing and painting.
Because arts programs are often the first thing to go when funding is cut in schools, RGEC believes this is a chance for kids to learn about art and how to use its various tools for self-expression. Born to Draw meets the criteria for our E-CUBED method by providing kids with an opportunity to learn new things about art and themselves (Education) while exploring new ideas and activities (Exploration) in a multi-faceted learning environment (Enrichment).
“Learning about art is fun for kids, but also helps them get to know their own talents and abilities.”
More than just an arts and crafts activity, Born to Draw teaches kids real art-based skills. The program includes teaching the proper use of colored pencil, pastel, watercolor, and other drawing basics. Children receive an introduction to color theory, texture, scale, composition, and placement. Learning about art is fun for kids, but also helps them get to know their own talents and abilities. These lessons also form a foundation for future learning in computer-generated art and design.
At RGEC, we believe that kids shouldn’t have to miss out on enriched learning opportunities because of school budget cuts. By collaborating with programs like Born to Draw, RGEC offers children a chance to try new things and learn about art. If you’d like to know more about Rio Grande Educational Collaborative’s enrichment partners, please visit us online today!
The Team of RGEC
Today we’d like to introduce you to another Rio Grande Educational Collaborative partner, Instituto Cervantes. By collaborating with Instituto Cervantes, we can offer New Mexico students a high-quality education in Spanish language and culture. This organization is one of the leading resources for Spanish language learning in the world, and we are so happy to work with them to offer students a chance to learn Spanish beyond what most schools teach.
In keeping with our E-CUBED model, Instituto Cervantes programming provides Exploration, Enrichment, and Education to children. Students will build on the Spanish they learn during the regular school day with lessons and activities taught in Spanish. This program results in RGEC students improving their ability to speak and understand Spanish, as well as aiding in English grammar studies.
The program uses a variety of activities that include conversation, arts and crafts, and lessons in history and culture. Students will learn and practice their Spanish speaking skills through guided recreational play, speaking, listening, and storytelling. All activities are designed to be fun and engaging for kids and are planned to correspond with school themes and holidays.
Teaching Spanish through guided play and craft activities is just one of the many ways RGEC uses disguised learning methods to help kids grow and learn.
At Rio Grande Educational Collaborative, we have taken the time to research, implement, and build strong relationships with some wonderful enrichment partners. Today we’d like to tell you more about our partnership with New Mexico PBS. Using media in teaching is an exciting tool because it’s something kids know and like. By using a media program to enhance learning, kids get exposure to new topics and ideas in a method that is familiar and fun for them. PBS Kids Ready to Learn programming provides numerous learning resources for kids, inspired by and featuring classic characters, as well as some exciting new ones. For example, kids can learn about real-life math and problem solving with the help of The Cat in the Hat. PBS Kids Lab has developed multiple math enrichment games that feature this favorite character. Videos and games help kids learn to build and use maps and understand sorting and measurement.
Other programs that kids love include SciGirls, which promotes gender-equitable learning by showing real girls engaging in fun science experiments, and by interviewing female role models in STEM fields. The quirky Odd Squad series features a group of kid investigators who combine imaginative storytelling with learning arithmetic and geography. These programs and their corresponding activities are engaging for kids, and inspire fun while learning. PBS Kids programming is often the jumping-off point for group activities that help kids get excited about reading and problem solving as they work together. RGEC uses these partnerships to give kids a fresh perspective on topics they learn in school, and teach them that learning can be fun. To learn more about Rio Grande Educational Collaborative’s enrichment partners, stay tuned for our next email about Instituto Cervantes.
As careers in science, engineering, and technology continue to grow and flourish, parents are becoming more and more interested in seeking STEM education for their kids. While many schools incorporate STEM learning in their regular curriculum, few have time to help kids explore the many experiments and activities available that provide dynamic, hands-on learning.
To address this issue, Rio Grande Educational Collaborative partners with the organization Tools for Learning to teach STEM through LEGO Robotics. LEGOs, which you may well remember from your own childhood, are now being used to teach all types of STEM topics to kids, using methods they find fun and engaging.
For decades, kids have been using LEGOs to build their own toys, cities, and whatever else they can imagine. Incorporating kids’ favorite toys is a great way to inspire fun while learning. With the guidance of Tools for Learning and their RGEC instructors, kids will learn how to build robots using specialized LEGO sets.
These lessons fit in perfectly with our E-CUBED model, as kids get to Explore new skills and activities in an Enriched learning environment, all while receiving additional Education in math and engineering. This model states that Exploration, Enrichment, and Education are the three essential building blocks of extended learning. We look for each of these components when choosing which organizations to partner with.
LEGO robotics is one of the many ways that we incorporate STEM learning into our after-school programs. To learn more about Rio Grande Educational Collaborative’s enrichment partners and the lessons we provide, contact us today!
Today we’d like to introduce you to another of Rio Grande Educational Collaborative’s key enrichment partners, Lemonade Day. This is a national program that teaches kids how to start, fund, and run their own business in the form of a lemonade stand. After completing the program, all participants try their hand at entrepreneurship by setting up a lemonade stand on Lemonade Day in early May.
Our E-CUBED learning model establishes Exploration, Enrichment, and Education as the building blocks that are essential to extended learning. We have chosen to incorporate the Lemonade Day program into our lessons because it meets each of these goals for our students. Lemonade Day introduces kids to the concept of running their own business while teaching math, planning, and how to take a business risk. All of this is carried out within the safe, educational, and supportive environment of an RGEC program with the guidance of our trained instructors.
Kids go through the Lemonade Day curriculum (our facilitators are trained to instruct it during RGEC’s enrichment time of BAPS) and learn fourteen lessons about running a business that range from planning, budgeting, and securing investments to setting up and running their lemonade stand. As part of the program, kids will also learn what to do with profits, including repaying investors, saving, and donating a percentage of profit.
Like Lemonade Day, all our enrichment partners help us to provide valuable learning to students in fun, engaging ways. To learn more about Rio Grande Educational Collaborative’s enrichment partners and the programs we offer, please contact us today!
In our last article, we introduced you to some of the enrichment learning opportunities that are part of the Rio Grande Educational Collaborative after-school programs. Today we’d like to introduce you to how we select and structure each program that we bring to our students. Most of our after-school programs utilize the E-CUBED model, which is based on Exploration, Enrichment, and Education as the three essential building blocks of extended learning. Our team of educators has developed and trademarked this system, which ensures the quality of our enhanced learning strategy.
We designed the E-CUBED model to improve academic outcomes for New Mexico’s elementary school students and build upon learning already taking place in schools. The focus of our program is to complement the work of public school teachers, so planning lessons for this learning model is ultimately a collaboration between teachers, principals, and RGEC staff. Members of our team write the lessons, and topics are specifically chosen based on conversations with teachers and principals about what students at their school need most.
So, how does the E-CUBED model work? We look for lessons, activities, and topics that provide students with Exploration, Enrichment, and Education to enhance learning. The building block of Exploration reflects that children are naturally curious, and their learning doesn’t end with the last school bell of the day. We seek to offer lessons that stimulate and engage curiosity, expanding a child’s capacity for learning. Enrichment refers to how our after-school programs provide an immersive learning environment. Rather than simply giving out more worksheets, we engage students in activities that teach real skills in reading, math, science, and the arts. They will be learning in a safe, supportive environment. The final building block is Education –the goal is always to teach children useful information, and we use disguised learning that allows for greater creativity in teaching methods.
By providing fun learning opportunities through creative teaching methods, we seek to capture the interest of each child while also expanding on their academic achievement. This unique type of learning offers students a safe environment in which they can engage with their school community, as well as the world around them. We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to RGEC’s E-CUBED learning model. For more information on our enrichment lessons, stay tuned for our next email.
Even when the school year comes to an end, and it’s time to start planning summer activities, RGEC offers a fun and educational summer program at a number of our schools.
The summer program with RGEC is a great way for your kids to spend their summer learning and having fun while doing so. In preparation for delivery of a comprehensive Academic Enrichment Summer Program, Rio Grande Educational Collaborative prepares a curriculum binder which consists of hundreds of lessons and activities that reflect the summer program weekly themes. This year’s theme “X-TREME Science Summer Adventure” offers Kindergarten through 5th graders a daily combination of in-class discovery and exploration, outdoor games and physical fitness, and hands-on applications of principles in medical science which is supported by our curriculum binder. Our unrivaled program presents essential Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts through the most creative activities. These lessons and activities in this curriculum binder combine learning and fun academic enrichment, bridging summer learning loss to satisfy parents, educators, and children.
Some examples of activities include:
Wet-n-Wild Water Fun
No better way to cool off in the summer heat than with wacky water challenges and adventures. These activities use water to teach simple science and math concepts, such as temperature, weight capacity, and color. Students also develop team building and problem-solving skills.
Mad Science Lab
These weekly themed science labs allow students to explore the scientific hypothesis model as they conduct a wide variety of experiments. They’ll become inventors as they conduct research and investigate the natural, earth, and life sciences.
Operation: Save Our Planet
These activities help our students explore ways to improve our environment through recycling and conservation. They’ll learn about local recycling programs, and create their own on-site recycling center, and come up with creative new ways to reuse items thrown in the trash to create art.
In Our Backyard
Students will learn all about the state of New Mexico as they participate in activities designed to teach them about the state we live in. They’ll learn about the geography, history, and culture of our state through fun activities and adventures.
Our summer program is offered Monday – Friday, with operating hours from 6:45am to 6:00pm, all for just $99/week (plus a $25 registration fee). There is a $5 discount for a 2nd child.
This year’s summer program is over but be on the look out next spring for next summer’s theme and locations!
For more program details and registration information, please visit our website today! https://rgec.org/summer-school-programs/