Discovery Link is the only district-run before school, after school, and full-day camp program. Licensed by the state of Colorado, we offer Discovery Link at 49 elementary schools. Students participate in fun and engaging activities supporting relationship-building skills, movement, and creativity. The program is a multi-subject offering that could include SEAL (Social Emotional and Academic Learning), Physical Education, Art, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), Dance, Music, Chess, and many more activities! For more information about Discovery Link, please see the below information.
We intentionally provide a “High Impact Offering” to all students within the first 15 minutes of programming in all of our After School Discovery Link Programs. A High Impact offering is an intentional activity that gives all students a meaningful experience. Some examples include: Welcoming Rituals, SEAL, Team/Culture Builder, Seasonal Activity, Student Public Speaking/Presentations, etc. The skills that students learn during a High Impact Offering allow for more opportunities to prepare them to succeed in their daily lives. Without access to these programs, it may limit their options. By offering a High Impact Offering at the program’s start, we will increase student access. Let’s reach more students through impactful experiences within the first 15 minutes of programming!
Social Emotional and Academic Learning
Extended Learning and Community Schools (ELCS) invests deeply in the holistic development of each student who attends one of our Out of School Time (OST) programs. One of our core commitments is to prioritize and embed Social Emotional and Academic Learning (SEAL) into our programs and culture.
What Does SEAL Look Like During OST Programming?
SEAL is a way of being and a set of practices. It encompasses how we talk to each other and the students, daily/weekly practices, and direct instruction. Some examples might include:
- Using language that aligns with the school’s values or facilitates a growth mindset ensuring students view themselves as capable of learning new skills.
- Facilitating games or activities that build relationships between students and adults so that all ELCS community members can get to know one another and learn to empathize with and appreciate each other’s differences in fun and meaningful ways.
- Daily/weekly practices that incorporate emotion identification such as mood meters, sharing a “rose” and/or “thorn” from the day, or a Circle where students name how they are feeling and then have the opportunity to share why they are feeling that way.
- Structured lessons that focus on skill-building. For example, students might learn about kindness, curiosity, or how to recognize and react to strong emotions in others.
Discovery Link Curriculum
Extended Learning and Community Schools (ELCS) is committed to providing well-rounded programs to all of our students, including curriculum that welcomes equity and inclusion. In addition to our single-subject intensive Enrichment offerings, Discovery Link also exposes students to a wide array of curricular content.
What kind of curriculum/lessons does Discovery Link use?
Every Discovery Link program offers unique lessons and activities for students to engage in daily. Students often have the opportunity to choose their activities or take turns helping to create and lead lessons. Examples of lessons that students may participate in include:
- Community Building – These lessons help students build trust and learn about themselves and each other in safe, fun, and structured ways!
- Social Emotional and Academic Learning (SEAL) – Interactive lessons designed to help students develop and hone skills that will help them succeed personally and academically.
- Literacy – We know that students across the country are experiencing literacy skill gaps. ELCS is committed to providing opportunities to engage with text and practice reading skills during both our afterschool and summer programs.
- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math (STEAM) – Math and Science can be fun! Our students often participate in STEAM lessons and do not even realize it. STEAM lessons may be explicit or embedded in a fun activity like baking, coding, making slime, or playing games that involve math.
- Art – Students engage in art projects and crafts that they get to take home and share with their friends and family!
- Chess – Games like Chess help students develop critical cognitive skills.
- Sports/Movement – Physical education is essential! We expose students to a wide variety of sports and movement options, even yoga and dance, so every student can find something they love to do.