After school classes are getting a boost as pop-up classes introduce extra-curricular activities to students who did not have the opportunity to explore their interests before.

Pop-Up Classes Introduce Extra-Curricular ExperiencesStudents at Brandon Middle School in Virginia Beach are signing up for the extra-curricular classes in large numbers.

The classes were the inspiration of gifted resource teacher Meghann Scott and instructional technology specialist Ellen Nesbitt. They attended 757 MakerSpace last summer, which offers training and open workshops on a wide choice of activities.  They decided to create pop-up classes at school, originally focusing on special education students and those who are taking advanced academic classes.

“They can’t take fun electives or exploratory classes,” Nesbit said. “Sadly, some kids won’t ever get the chance to do these things.”

Soon the program grew to include over 50 classes, based on student and teacher interests. Most were one day offerings, but some ran for multiple sessions.  The classes include make-up, model building, origami, Spanish dance, vision boards, 3D printing and “Kids in the Kitchen.”

The teachers are applying for grants, and sharing the unique concept at a conference in the fall. Classes are open to all sixth through eighth grade students.  This year, 202 students participated, and 478 classes were offered.

“We’ve seen a decrease in discipline problems,” said Scott.

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