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Simmons Discovery Time

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Discovery Time is an annual event that happens at Simmons Elementary School. During this event, students in grades 1-5 stay after school to explore various activities that are led by high schoolers.
This year, clubs such as Key Club and National Art Honor Society prepared projects and lessons for the students.

Key Club, a service club, chose arts and crafts as their theme. The club held a meeting to list and research different arts and crafts activities they could teach and the supplies they would need. Some of the activities they planned out included making pipe cleaner flowers, shaving cream paintings, bookmarks, paper plate animals, dream catchers, and rock painting.

Yasmeen Elsabbagh, a junior who volunteered for Key Club, says, “Discovery Time is a fun way for kids to do an outside school activity. I did volleyball for Discovery Time before and I remember it being a fun time.”

NAHS formatted their curriculum by splitting their days. Tuesdays were “Fun with Painting” days, and Thursdays were “Draw like an Illustrator” days.

On Tuesdays, students worked on painting watercolor landscapes, coloring fruits with chalk pastels and painting toys with tempera paint. On Thursdays, they had projects like making a comic strip, figure drawing with wooden mannequins, drawing a portrait of a book character and creating a storybook.

To prepare for the classes, a couple of the NAHS volunteers created teacher samples to provide examples and help guide the students during their classes. During the classes, students would get a chance to learn techniques and practice before working on a final piece similar to how art classes run in high school.

Junior Keerthi Mokkarala and her karate dojo reused their plan from last year to teach young students the basics of karate: kicks, punches and judo throws. Before beginning their classes, each student got a white karate belt to wear and keep afterward.

Volunteering for Simmons Discovery Time allows high school students to experience what it is like to be a teacher. Keerthi said, “Kudos to elementary school teachers because it’s hard. The kids are adorable, but it was difficult to get them to focus at times.”

Keerthi has fond memories of knitting and Spanish classes for Discovery Time when she was at Simmons. She said, “Having these Discovery Time sessions sets the kids off on a jump start to explore what they like or dislike. … It’s important to teach them young so they know moving forward if they want to continue or stop doing a certain activity in the future.”

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About the Contributor
Amy Park, Staff Reporter
What is a favorite hobby of yours: Reading and art What do you look forward to working with The Hat Chat: I look forward to spreading the word about events, activities, and things I'm passionate about within the school community. I also hope to strengthen my writing skills by writing and receiving feedback outside of school work. What would you like to study in college: Not sure yet! What's an interesting fact about yourself: I'm bilingual! I can fluently speak English and Korean. I also love The Smiths with a passion, and I know how to play a lot of the riffs on guitar!

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