Enrichment programs at CTMS begin at the toddler level with yoga, music, and art activities held in the classroom. Enrichment continues and becomes more challenging as the students grow. In primary classrooms students have a movement room adjacent to their classrooms, receive foreign language lessons, and go to the studio for martial arts, circus arts/yoga, and art classes. Elementary students also participate in enrichment for foreign language, circus arts, yoga, physical education and fine arts in the studio. The enrichment program is held in the afternoons at CTMS and is included in the cost of tuition.
Not only does our weekly art class compliment the curriculum and what the children are currently studying, but art history is also touched upon. Each project is thoughtfully planned to work within the children’s skill set, while increasing dexterity.
The art class is led by Fine Artist, Kevin Gallagher. Kevin is an active artist, working in different medias since high school. He has a BFA in Painting from Maine College of Fine Arts, and worked in Art Education through many internships.
In addition to the weekly fine arts class, the children rehearse and perform songs at the winter celebration before the holidays, and for the graduation celebration at the end of the school year. Throughout the year songs that correlate with the curriculum are often sung during circle times in the classrooms.
As part of their physical education, the children are learning martial arts one day per week. The program teaches a blend of Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate and Bruce Lees Jeet Kune Do. This program teaches not only self-defense, but self control, focus, team work, courtesy and respect.
The martial arts class is led by Jose Pacheco. He has been practicing martial arts since the age of 5, learning Kenpo Karate from Middletown Kenpo Karate. Mr. Jose co-owned the Modern Self-Defense Center in Middletown and Meriden and helped design the kids and adults programs. He holds several martial arts instructor certifications and has worked as a wrestling and Jiu Jitsu coach.
Yoga & Circus Arts
In addition to the martial arts, the children take circus arts and yoga once per week as part of the physical education program. Why yoga for children? Ten years ago, that question was most likely asked about martial arts. Now there are classes for children at martial arts studios around every corner. And, like martial arts, yoga develops many wonderful qualities in children.
In addition to the obvious benefits of exercising the physical body, both yoga and martial arts sharpen the child’s ability to focus and give self-confidence and self-discipline. And yoga, practiced regularly, helps children become aware of themselves from the inside out. From this awareness, children can change and grow in new and positive directions.
The weekly yoga and circus classes are led by Jen Taylor from OmFly Circus School. She has been teaching and directing circus arts and yoga for over a decade. Ms. Jen studied aerials with LAVA, and circus with Circus Minimus & Circus Yoga. She has a degree in Philosophy and studied engaged Buddhism with peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn.
In foreign language class children have fun learning French through songs and games! Young children learn culture, basic phrases such as greetings, as well as words for topics like colors, animals, food, and more. The elementary students have opportunities to explore French language and culture through projects, such as cooking and baking, sewing, and making crafts for French holidays.
The French class is led by one of our primary teachers, Bethany Kanfer. Miss Bethany has had a lifelong love of all things French. She began formally studying the language when she was 12, going on to earn a B.A. in French. She is excited to share this passion with CTMS students.