Genius Hour strengthens school community

Program gives students a chance to try out new activities

Deep Cove Elementary students (from left to right) Jada Benwell (Grade 5)

Deep Cove Elementary students (from left to right) Jada Benwell (Grade 5)

A new program at Deep Cove Elementary School is encouraging children to engage in hands-on activities based on their interests.

The program, called Genius Hour, allows students to pursue a topic or interest of their choosing — anything from cooking, sewing and dance to computer coding or academics.

“This program has been modified at Deep Cove to allow students from Kindergarten to Grade 5 to explore an activity that might not otherwise be available to them at school,” explained the school’s Vice Principal, Steve MacGregor, adding that the children are in groups based on interest and not age.

“It allows them to make connections with students from other grades and classes, not to mention teachers and parent volunteers from the community,” he said.

MacGregor said the program started after students submitted choices of programming that appealed to them. The school has so far held two sessions and the school’s administration and staff hope the program will grow and continue through the next school year.

“The response to Genius Hour, especially from the parent and student communities, has been enthusiastic and positive,” he said.

“The staff have keenly put forward extra effort to make each activity a hit, and have enjoyed conversations about how to make tweaks to the program and about which new offerings might be popular with students in future sessions.”

— With files from Steve MacGregor