Enrichments That Promote Academic Success

Apr 24, 2021

Enrichments are a vital part of the Beacon Network Schools programming. These unique, diversified experiences afford all students exposure to a vast expanse of learning opportunities with the goal of increasing access and extending students’ interests and curiosity. When Grant Beacon Middle School first opened its doors with a new vision and revised approach to the middle years, Enrichments offered in an extended day format were one of the anchors of this innovative model. Through meaningful partnerships and a deep commitment from community members, GBMS introduced the concept of providing high quality co-curricular and extra-curricular classes to all learners. This model ensured knowledgeable, passionate instructors sharing their gifts and skills with our students. In the last decade, the Beacon Enrichments have exponentially grown, including courses in Bouldering, Puppet Making, Lacrosse, Jewelry, Slam Poetry and Rocketry to name a few. This engaging design guarantees all students participate multiple times each week at all sites in Enrichments.

Enrichments are categorized in the following 5 main areas:

  1. Leadership
  2. S.T.E.M.
  3. Arts & Culture
  4. Health & Athletics
  5. Academics

Each class offered falls under one of these headings and students are encouraged to discover interests in a variety of channels. Research strongly suggests that students are most successful academically when they are connected to the school community through multiple pathways. Therefore, the ongoing implementation of Enrichments directly serves the broader vision of BNS. Furthermore, we are keenly aware that a number of the offerings presented would not be easily accessible to at least a portion of our learners due to time, resources and other factors that impact one’s life beyond the school day. With the embedded approach, we are able to make these dynamic learning platforms readily accessible to each and every Beacon student.

While additional challenges have undeniably influenced the Enrichments programming over the last year, the Network has boldly persisted and offered a number of experiences, events and classes to students throughout the pandemic chapter. In order to honor the health and safety guidelines, and continually address our foundational commitment to equity, all Enrichments have been hosted in a virtual format throughout the 2020-2021 school year. While optional due to scheduling and the multi-faceted learning options presented to families, Enrichments have continued to draw both interest and participation from a wide variety of students. 

One of the positive outcomes of this unprecedented time has been the re-establishment of Enrichment Adventures held virtually in conjunction with our quarterly interim testing days. Aligned with our goals around exposing students to potential career pathways, a number of these short, information-filled sessions involved industries across the Metro area. Students and staff alike were inspired and impressed with these exciting opportunities to hear from and question experts in their professional workspaces. The tiered aspect of Enrichments makes this arm of the Beacon experience influential, impactful and memorable for our students long after they have traversed the auditorium stage on the evening of 8th Grade Promotion. The interests, skills and passions discovered and cultivated become a part of the important map that guides our lifelong learners.

Be. Creative. Be. Intentional. Be. Innovative. Be. Beacon. . . 


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