ANDERSON — Anderson Middle School fifth grader Kallen Idlewine has released her book, ‘Rubix,’ through the school district’s Becoming an Author club.
The Author Storytelling Club is part of ACE Clubs, an organization that hosts various after-school clubs for students at Anderson Community School to explore interests not typically offered at school.
“We’re always looking to provide unique clubs and opportunities for students who might not feel plugged into some of the traditional activities,” said Grant Fulton, District ACE Clubs Manager, which stands for Achieve, Create and Explore.
Examples of clubs include kids in the kitchen, puzzle and board games, canvas painting, leather goods and Legos.
The clubs are funded by a grant from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers which aims to “provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, especially students who attend very poor and underperforming schools” , according to the Learning Centers website. .
ACS has received the grant for the past five years and has already obtained grants in the early 2000s. Due to the competitiveness of this grant, it is not guaranteed every year.
AIS, Eastside Elementary School, and Highland Middle School all have their own ACE clubs, which focus on students in grades 3-8.
Another club is Become a Writers Club, which is new to ACS this school year.
At AIS, the Becoming an Author Club is led by librarian Schneida Burgess.
During the program, which lasts one academic term at ACS, she teaches students descriptive storytelling through a variety of activities.
“If students complete the program entirely, they are able to publish their book and get an actual hard copy of the book,” Fulton said.
According to Fulton, Kallen was the first ACS student to publish a book through the club.
He noted that Kallen even signed up to complete the program a second time and publish another book.
“Since he posted it, we’ve had 21 more students wanting to take part in this program,” Fulton said.
In addition to providing students with an engaging afternoon activity, ACE clubs also provide academic support for all students involved.
“We want to make sure they’re doing well in the classroom, just as they’re getting rich after school,” Fulton said. “We’re kind of trying to bridge that gap.”
Data that Fulton collected showed that 80% of students who regularly attend ACE clubs either maintained a B or better in English or math or improved their grade in that class.
Fulton said these students also increased their class participation, improved homework turn-in rates, and improved attendance.
This program is offered to all students at AIS, HMS and E2. ACE Clubs offers registrations quarterly, with the next registration just before Spring Break.
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