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Enrichment bags for Cedar Cliff Elementary lined up on a table.

The Gift of Learning! Enrichment Bags Serve Local Elementary Students

by Heidie Raine, Student Public Relations Writer

Tape measures for the Cedar Cliff Elementary enrichment bagsThroughout the 2021-22 school year, Cedarville University's School of Education will be offering free take-home enrichment bags to the students of Cedar Cliff Elementary School.

The enrichment bags contain educational materials and activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). They are designed to help students who need additional exposure to these academic disciplines.

In previous years, Cedarville has partnered with Cedar Cliff to host STEM enrichment events on the university campus. Students have attended five Saturday events throughout the school year planned and taught by Cedarville students.

“Because of COVID, we didn’t host our enrichment days last year, and with the uncertainty of COVID this year, we wanted to be as creative as possible to get students the resources they need,” Dr. Megan Brown, program advisor and assistant professor of education, said. “These bags provide students with the extra push and support in those topics that may not receive as much attention in school.”

Under Brown’s guidance, junior primary (P-5) education students Natalie Hepner, from Orlando, Florida, and Katelynn Garber, from Sidney, Ohio, have planned and distributed the first round of enrichment bags, with the next coming in November and the remaining three during the spring semester.

“The first bag had an aviation theme,” Brown explained. “Students received foam airplanes, materials for paper airplanes, and suggestions for family field trips.”

To accommodate a variety of ages, each bag also contains a two-page guide to explain what materials and activities suit younger, K-2 students, and which ones are more appropriate for third to fifth-graders. Upcoming bag themes include weather, simple machines, and explosions.

Once packed, Brown, Hepner, and Gardner deliver each round of 100 enrichment bags to Cedar Cliff Elementary. Cedar Cliff handles distribution.

“This project has huge benefits for everyone involved,” Brown explained. “The elementary students are receiving that extra push they need in these fields, and the Cedarville students planning them are gaining experience in connecting with families, helping students who need enrichment and STEM — all things that teachers need to know.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Primary (P-5) Education program, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.

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