Community » A world of electives for pupils to choose from at St. Bede

A world of electives for pupils to choose from at St. Bede

Special to The Catholic Voice Picture an hour a month where you are able to explore the joys of cooking, friendly competition or sign language. Now, imagine being able to do so while you were an elementary pupil.

The teachers and staff at St. Bede School, 26910 Patrick Ave., Hayward, are piloting an elective program to provide all TK-Eighth Grade pupils the opportunity to try a variety of classes. Some options include photography, coding, meditation and art.

One Friday a month, pupils gather in grade level groupings, K-2, 3-5, and 6-8, to experience multi-age, hands-on activities.

While some primary pupils are participating in an elementary-level book club, others are learning conversational Spanish or physically challenging themselves at fitness stations. In the middle grades, there are children who are experiencing the art of origami paper folding, while another group is grasping the basic skills of sewing. At the junior high level, some pupils are engineering paper rockets to be launched, calming their minds and bodies while in meditation or improving their strategy through a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons.

To ensure active participation, they were given the opportunity to determine their top three choices from the electives that were being offered.

Third-grader Diego Morfin, said, "I like that we get to choose whatever we want." Each elective takes place for three classes per trimester. At the beginning of a new trimester, the students rotate through another elective for a total of three different classes for the entire school year.

For an incoming kindergarten student, St. Bede's hope with this program, is that the child will have explored 36 various electives by the time graduation day arrives. The motivation behind this venture was to provide the pupils with rich learning experiences in addition to the traditional curriculum courses and allow them to explore activities that may develop into future hobbies or even careers.

Meditation instructor Maj Paguio, explained, "I like exposing the kids to new and different hobbies so that they can explore other interests and expose them to teachers' interests outside of school."

As an added benefit, teachers and staff members are inspired and excited to share their hidden talents.

Seventh-grader Glydelle Espano, expressed her enjoyment of the school's electives by saying, "I wish we could have them more often."