PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Extracurricular activities are an important way for children to develop social skills, build self-confidence, relieve stress and help them with their studies.
There are many local organizations that offer affordable extracurricular activities that are not your typical sports.
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Assemble, in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood, is an unpretentious storefront, but there’s an explosion of ideas inside. Children of all ages explore new concepts.
Nina Barbuto, Founder and Executive Director of Assemble, said, “Providing this safe space to look like, what if I don’t get it the first time around? Or if I’m like, it’s interesting. I do not understand. But by helping them find their way. Then to be yourself in your own learning – please run with it.
Barbuta said that Assemble focuses on STEAM as children learn social and emotional skills along the way. It offers after-school and Saturday programs for children grouped by age and full-day programs when children are out of school.
Projects include photography, slime, stop-motion animation, puppetry, brain learning, circuits, computer coding, robots and more.
Barbuto says: “Having a range of options for us is really important because they are still figuring out what to do. And that’s one of the reasons we offer so many different things, it’s just the exhibition.
It’s free for Garfield’s kids, scholarships are available for others, and teens may even receive an upcoming stipend.
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Queen’s Gambit chess lessons are another extracurricular activity that kids of all ages can do, even at home.
Ashley Priore founded and runs Queen’s Gambit. She says, “We are really focusing on chess as a form of engagement and for teaching life skills, and our hope is that students not only come out of the program with an interest in chess, but that they come out of the program with an interest in chess. also have other techniques that they have learned about the problems. resolution and critical thinking.
Queen’s Gambit has taught chess lessons for children at community centers in the area, and these continue with children wearing masks. But they’re also being offered online now, making them available for kids anywhere.
Priore hopes this will give the children an extra chance to find something they like.
“I hope that if students see all these opportunities presented to them, then they can choose the one that they are really passionate about and not feel like they have to be stuck in one space,” she said.
Chess lessons offered by the Queen’s Gambit nonprofit are free to all Pittsburgh public school students. In community centers, classes cost $ 35 for a 10-week session with scholarships available.
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