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Jurupa Leapt into Summer


​This summer, JUSD held LEAP, a K-8 program where learning engaged all possibilities. Continue reading to learn more about the classes offered.

“Digging for Dinosaurs” at Granite Hill

Dino MuseumLorena Fong brought her K-2 students on a journey to the land of dinosaurs. Students learned the differences between carnivores and herbivores, what a paleontologist does, and much more. On the last day, Ms. Fong put together a Dino Museum to display completed projects, including papier-mâché dino eggs and dinosaur noodle art.

“We rolled them out to the parking lot and had the parents drive by and look at all the work the kids did throughout the four weeks,” explained Ms. Fong. Dressed as paleontologists in brown hats and vests, the students also attended their museum. 

“A lot of kids came in with knowledge about dinosaurs so they were able to share that,” said Ms. Fong. “I allowed them to bring in some items from home they could share. I think, overall, they had a good summer school class.”

“Fun in the Sun!” at Mission Bell

Girl kicking soccerball
Ivan Casas Diaz decided to prioritize hands-on experiences for his LEAP class. The indoor and outdoor activities - touching on subjects like science, art, and physical education - promoted teamwork for his K-2 students.

“One of my favorite experiences was having them do an activity where they got to grow a little radish seed,” he shared. “They got to plant it themselves in the cup and then every day we would spray it with water. My students really enjoyed it. Every morning they got to look at their plant and how much it grew.”

“Physical Fitness” at Pacific Avenue Academy of Music

When developing her LEAP course, Deborah Betz thought about what activities would be useful to kids who had been “cooped up for sixteen months.” Each day for physical fitness, Mrs. Betz set up stations for her 3rd and 4th graders to visit. Activities included playing soccer, volleyball, and kickball. Some of her students even learned to jump rope for the very first time.

“I like the fact that it’s not graded and [the kids] don’t feel like they’re under pressure,” said Mrs. Betz of LEAP. “It’s been a very trying time. It was fun to not have that pressure.”

“Cooking in the Classroom” at Jurupa Middle

A cooking student with her cake“Cooking is a great way to incorporate science and math,” said Delilah Munoz, who learned fractions as a kid through baking and cooking. Her 7th and 8th graders practiced basic cooking skills as they baked cakes, made pretzels from scratch, and experimented with different flavors of popcorn.

Because of how much they enjoyed the activity, her students turned one day of making pretzels into two. While the first day involved technical aspects like how to use the Kitchenaid mixer and how to handle yeast, the second day was all about creativity. Students experimented with flavors and shapes, then brought home extras to their families to showcase what they made.

“It was a very busy lesson. I was all over the classroom,” admitted Ms. Munoz. “But it was so much fun because the kids loved it. They did ask for the recipes after the class, so I made sure to send them all the recipes they did during LEAP.”

“Have Fun with Science!” at Jurupa Middle

mini skateboardOf the many science projects Marjorie Tanedo introduced to her 7th and 8th graders, students agreed the best project was designing mini-skateboards to protect an egg in transport. Ms. Tanedo developed this lesson to emphasize the importance of seatbelt safety. Because LEAP classes were not developed to a specific standard or grading scale, Ms. Tanedo’s students could “be wild in their imagination.” Her example of the mini-skateboard only included four wheels, but one of her students decided to add six, and their design was voted the favorite of the day.

Not only did LEAP encourage creativity, but the program also provided opportunities for social-emotional learning, with students developing strong friendships after a school year of isolation. 

“The first day, they are strangers. The last day, it’s so hard to separate them,” shared Ms. Tanedo. “I said, ‘wow, this is LEAP.’ I feel like the goal [was] reached in just sixteen days.”