Elementary school kids already learning "real world" skills in the classroom


POSTED: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 10:19pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 10:43pm

One Jacksonville elementary school is preparing their students already for the real world.

The East Side Elementary school in Jacksonville started this program three years ago.

It's called the Applied Learning Community program.

Kindergarten through fourth grade students work through problems together and learn skills to prepare them for college and their future careers.

"It's a different style of learning than you're traditional classrooms that you normally would see," said ALC coordinator Angie Stinson.  

The Applied Learning Community program brings real world situations into the classroom.

The program challenges students to work through problems together.

"You might see kindergarten classes working with 1st grade classes you see kindergarten 1st grade and 2nd grade classes working together in the rotation process," said Stinson.

The program allows them to be more hands on with projects and activities.

"Most children don't like to sit in a desk and learn all day with a teacher teaching. They want to be a part of their learning and they want to have a choice of what their learning. They want to voice how and what their learning in the classroom," said Stinson. 

 Stinson took on the role as ALC coordinator this year.

Stinson says in this type of learning, the teachers become the facilitators in the classroom and let the students take the reigns.

First year ALC teacher Sarah Reagan is excited to experience this new type of learning.

"It is a lot more hands on learning and real world learning where a lot of times they don't get this in the school system and with this program they will definitely come out a lot more well rounded," said Reagan.  

The ALC students last year, as one of their projects, worked together and created the reading garden.

"It gives them a lot of ownership in their learning and seeing that their contributing to their school," said ALC 2nd grade teacher Rachel Chandler.

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