The spring of 2020 brought unexpected changes to all of our lives. The REACH program was one of many Teaching & Learning Division programs that quickly shifted to virtual services to continue providing academic support to students in the Lyle and Wishram School Districts. The REACH summer program offered fun activities and learning experiences via Zoom meetings, and provided students packets, project materials, and even snacks.
One favorite activity for Dallesport Elementary students was weekly scavenger hunts where students were challenged to find items from the natural world out in their yards, as well as silly hunts with students challenged to find something stinky, something bumpy, something tall, etc. These hunts were highly competitive and physically active as the kids were timed and competed against their REACH peers.
Lyle secondary students enjoyed making friendship bracelets, baking healthy brownies, science experiments, mindfulness activities, games, and making their own bouncy balls! As a social/emotional activity, students made “Respectables” out of pipe cleaners and discussed how to see situations through the eyes of others and respect their feelings.
Students in Wishram School District made a no-sew mask and gloves bag to stay healthy and safe. Participants joined in fun activities such as making stepping stones, slime, STEAM air powered cars, and dream catchers. Their favorite project was making authentic First-Aid kits!
The REACH program is enriched through collaboration with grant partners. Every Tuesday afternoon REACH students met with Shelley Toon and Amy Gray, artists from Arts in Education of the Gorge, who led students in art lessons centered on their surroundings via ZOOM. They incorporated new art techniques that will continue to be implemented in the REACH program. Students also learned about line, shape, and texture, as well as watercolors, six-word story lines, and embossing with aluminum.
Students also had the opportunity to collaborate with the newest grant partner, Gorge Ecology Outdoors (GEO). GEO provided the group with virtual tour videos that explored the ecosystem of the Columbia Gorge and provided learning opportunities about the unique characteristics of our area. We are very grateful to our grant partners’ dedication to teaching and engaging our students with meaningful activities.