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Students welcomed at Columbia Extended Day program, WATCH Dogs to meet

Students in the Columbia Astros Extended Day program enjoy free time on the school playground. (CONTRIBUTED)
Students in the Columbia Astros Extended Day program enjoy free time on the school playground. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – The Columbia Astros Extended Day program gives children an easy alternative to traditional after-school daycare.

Extended Day “provides a safe and secure environment which offers different opportunities for the students. There are certified teachers working the program until 6 p.m.,” second-grade and Extended Day teacher Donna Smith said.

After regular classes, students report to Extended Day at 2:40 p.m. All students receive a snack. When kindergartners and first-graders are dismissed from class, they walk to the cafeteria to enjoy their snack.

A certified teacher monitors students in grades 2 through 6 during study hall. “In study hall, they do their homework, pursue Accelerated Reader (AR) study from Renaissance Learning, Inc. and use SuccessMaker software,” Smith said. “After study hall, the students have snack and free play, either in the gym or outside.”

After finishing their snacks, these two groups rotate going outside or gym and to the computer lab where they use Starfall or SuccessMaker software, which are school-approved computerized programs.

On Fridays, employees from Sci-Quest Hands-on Learning Center provide age-appropriate activities that are aligned with the standards for each grade level. Sci-Quest workers alternate for upper and lower grades. On Fridays when students don’t work with Sci-Quest, they enjoy a movie and popcorn.

“We are still accepting students into the program,” Smith said.

In another Columbia activity, this year’s kickoff for Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) will be held Aug. 21 from 6 to 7 p.m.

School leaders have invited all students to bring their father or father figure, like a grandfather or uncle, for free pizza and to listen to a presentation about the Watch DOGS program. Fathers will meet in the cafeteria, while the students will go the gym for games.

Columbia dads who plan to attend should tell the student’s teacher, who will send an informational flier home with the child.

Jamie Hill is principal at Columbia. The assistant principal is Brian Givens.

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