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JES launches LEGO Robotics and Minecraft.edu after school programs

JES launches LEGO Robotics and Minecraft.edu after school programs

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Thanks to some recent grant funding, Jackson Elementary School (JES) has implemented two new after school programs for their kids. The Breakfast Rotary Club of Jackson Hole was awarded a grant from Rotary National to support literacy programs in the Jackson area. JES Principal Scott Eastman applied for the grant and was awarded $4,000 to fund after school literacy programs. "We have had a need for after school programming for a long time, it is nothing new, but by having a big chunk of money available to actually launch something gave us that push we needed to get it going," said Eastman. Eastman decided that he wanted to use the money to expand the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) enrichment for the younger kids outside of the regular curriculum. "I was inspired by the robotics programs at other schools and in other areas, and we took the angle of literacy through science, tech and engineering," said Eastman. The programs began right after Christmas break and will until spring break. Eastman implemented two different after school programs -- a LEGO Robotics Club and Minecraft.edu Club. Both clubs include age-appropriate reading and problem solving for the kids. The $4,000 grant paid for the materials as well as a stipend to the teachers who work past their contact hours to help with these clubs. [image: Inline image 1][image: Inline image 2][image: Inline image 3] *Photos:* *h/t Scott Eastman / Pitchengine Communities* The clubs were instantly popular. There are 90 kids in the LEGO Robotics Club and 64 kids in the Minecraft.edu Club, totaling 154 kids in the after school program. There are also 70 kids on the waiting list. "It's really really popular, the kids are having a blast," Eastman added. "The teachers are the ones that are making this happen. Every teacher is approaching it with their own unique style. The creativity is amazing." Eastman hopes to be able to continue the program after spring break and next year, but is limited by funding and staffing. These clubs are offered at no cost to the student or family. "It was really important to us to make sure it was free to everybody," said Eastman. "I think this is a springboard for a lot of great programs in the future." *Feature Photo: Kids and a teacher at the JES LEGO Robotics Club. h/t Scott Eastman / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news