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Students enrich their skills in afterschool programs

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Students at St. Anthony of Padua School in Falls Church exited their last class of the day Jan. 17 only to attend another class. Eleven students went to an art class where they learned how to draw a picture of someone ice fishing. Another dozen students went to the gym where they learned soccer skills.

The hourlong after-school program for kindergarten through fifth-graders is organized by Flex Academies, and runs through April.

Colin Nguyen said it gives his daughter, Vivienne, a break from her routine. “She gets excited and looks forward to the Flex classes,” he said. “It gives her an opportunity to learn a new skill and be around other friends.”

With the help of Flex Academies, the school can offer multiple classes and not need extra staff.

Jarod Forget has two children who participate in the after-school program. “The program has provided my children an after-school enrichment activity, which enabled them to engage in educational or athletic events with skilled event coordinators,” he said. “It affords parents such as myself time to finish employment obligations while knowing their children are being well-cared for, having fun and learning. 

The flex program also is offered at St. Agnes School in Arlington.

“We love offering enrichment classes after school,” said Sara Cruley, St. Agnes PTO liaison. “It’s a great way for kids to try something new. We get to offer different things — everything from chess to making apps to fencing to science, Lego and art clubs.”

Katrina De Souza said her daughter and son have taken the classes at St. Anthony. “We take advantage of these programs as a way to introduce new concepts, ideas and abilities to our kids,” she said. “The benefits are endless, you enrich their curiosity, they become more independent and they increase their social skills.”


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019