After The Bell

In this file photo, students at Kennett Middle School's After The Bell program wear T-shirts signifying they are the 5,000th through the program. More than half the students at Kennett Middle School attend the program.

KENNETT SQUARE — After The Bell has unveiled an exciting and unique Virtual Program Cycle for Fall 2020 that will include 16 Live Zoom activities and more than 30 additional On Demand virtual activities for students and their families to participate in at their convenience. All activities will be available on the After-The-Bell website at https://www.afterthebell.org/.

After-The-Bell is a free after-school program for all students in the Kennett Middle School, providing a fun learning experience in a safe, supervised environment. Students are provided an after-school snack, participate in engaging activities, and then are offered a bus ride home—all at no cost.

“As the Kennett Community and rest of the world continues to contend with the challenges caused by the pandemic, we are very pleased to offer area students an opportunity to join together with friends while engaging in robust and meaningful learning experiences,” said After-The-Bell Executive Director Dawn Doherty Kohl. “We understand the stress that many children and families are dealing with and that some students may feel isolated and rudderless at this time. Via our virtual program, and particularly our new live activities, we hope to instill a sense of normalcy and fun in their daily lives.”

Now in its 22 year, After The Bell has offered after-school activities covering such genres as science, nature, art, music, robotics, cooking, community service and sports to more than 6,000 middle school students in the Kennett area. When schools shut down this past spring, the leadership of After-The-Bell moved quickly to create a virtual program that included a wide variety of videos and do-it-yourself activities for students to enjoy.When it became clear that schools would not be able to provide in person classes this fall, ATB began work to enhance the virtual program by adding a series of live activities to be offered to students over Zoom.

Live virtual activities will be offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from September 22 through October 29. These Live Zoom activities include the following:

Magic: The Gathering – Students will participate in this popular online card game in which wizards cast spells, summon creatures, and control magic objects to defeat their opponents.

Intro to 3-D Modeling & Manufacturing – Students will learn the basics of 3-D modeling using Tinker CAD. They will have the chance to design custom figurines and other 3-D models from their own imaginations and receive a printed version of their own 3-D masterpieces.

Nearby Nature – Thanks to our wonderful partner, the Stroud Water Research Center, students will be able to explore and understand nature right in their own neighborhoods. They will learn how to find and identify frogs, toads, worms and other creatures living in nearby forests, streams, and fields.

Program Your Own Digital World – Students learn coding techniques that will allow them to create their own amazing digital worlds with such objects as racecars, robots and dancing animals.

Dance, Dance, Dance – Students will learn modern dance steps from a Unionville High School senior and accomplished dancer.

Brain Base – In partnership with The Garage Community & Youth Center, we will offer one-on-one tutoring and academic assistance for students who may be struggling with virtual learning.

Art Club with Kennett Design – Our long-time partners at Kennett Design will host a live class with an artist, teaching students the fine points of painting on canvas.

Live Zoom activities are available for all middle school students who reside in the Kennett Consolidated School District. To assist participating students, After-The-Bell staff and volunteers will be delivering necessary materials for these activities to the homes of the students.

In addition to live activities, students will be able to log on to the After-The-Bell website to engage in a wide variety of activities at their leisure. These on-demand virtual activities include Bill Nye the Science Guy, Balloon-Powered Cars, Community Garden Craft, Explore the Science of Roller Coasters, Fun at the Kennett Library, Imagineering in a Box – Disney Style, Making Yummy Churros, and much more.The on-demand activities are available to any interested students, including students from other school districts. After-The-Bell has reached out to administrators from neighboring school districts to invite their families to participate.

“During this unprecedented time, we are humbled and inspired by the outpouring of support we have received from our volunteers and community partners,” Doherty Kohl said. “Their efforts to facilitate activities and provide worthwhile experiences for adolescent students will make a real difference in the lives of these students as we all await the day—hopefully soon—when we can come back together to embrace our friends, our passions, and our love of learning in person.”

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