After Class Enrichment enriches all


Caitlin Maughan

ACE, or After Class Enrichment, has recently visited Brunner elementary school to provide students with fun learning experiences outside of the classroom. On Thursdays after school from Jan. 9 to Jan. 31, the students of Brunner have learned about legos, coding, journalism, floor hockey, and more. 
ACE gives young students a chance to explore possible future hobbies and careers. 
“I think we have 190 kids that are involved in ACE this year compared to roughly 420 kids in the school. We don’t start ACE until first grade, so if you take our kindergarten students, which is probably about 120 students, you are left with about 300. 190 of our 300 students are involved in ACE, which is more than half of the school” Principle of Brunner elementary school Scott Bortnick said.  
Additionally, ACE provides a network of connections between the children and parents in the community. Parents and students are able to share common interests and talents and connect in ways they wouldn’t be able to normally. 
“As people get involved, their passions drive the change. As long as we have parent volunteers, it’s impossible for the program not to evolve because we are getting different thoughts and perspectives. The community is stronger, I think, because of how many people are involved,” Bortnick said.
ACE doesn’t only provide an exciting learning opportunity for elementary school students, it also provides community service opportunities for high school students and parents. 
“I wanted to do ACE because I needed volunteer hours. I am planning to apply for a job in the summer, and having service credit on my resume would give me a higher chance of getting the job,” said Alyona Kladova. 
Overall, ACE has a positive impact on the Brunner community by inspiring kids, training high school students to be educators and connecting the community. 
¨It exposes kids to things they are not familiar with. I think it also exposes kids to other kids they aren’t familiar with because ACE is a multi-grade level. I think it’s great for parents to be able to bring an asset that they have into the school. I think it’s great for high school kids that get to work with younger kids. Truly, everyone benefits,¨ Bortnick said. 
“ACE is a great experience for me because it gives me practice looking after little kids and helping them. I am glad I joined this program because it prepares me for any future jobs I might have,” said Kladova.