On and off campus, our students expand their academic horizons with weekly lessons from specialists in music, art, drama, dance, physical education, creative movement and Spanish.
Students explore a wide variety of materials and methods such as observational and creative pencil and pen drawing, markers, pastel, watercolor, tempera paint, collage, weaving, printing, mixed media, and creating with recyclables. Sculptural forms and mask-making are explored. The vocabulary of art such as the elements and principles are continually in the forefront of each lesson. Our art program allows students to develop their capacity for their own unique personal expression. Art history, appreciation, esthetics, criticism and connections to the curriculum are emphasized. A multi-modality approach to art lessons is used whenever applicable; for example, connecting certain art lessons to language arts, creative movement, drama, and music. Multicultural art lessons and activities give students an understanding and appreciation of societies (past and present) different from our own. Students display examples of their best work at an Art Exhibition and Reception in December and May of each year.
Theatre Arts and Music
The Theatre Arts Program explores all aspects of theatre study. The children are exposed to the Stanislavski System, commedia dell’arte performance, classical elements of greek theatre, improv and more. Students perform at the Gloucester Stage Company at our Winter and Spring Arts Festivals.
Physical Education and Creative Movement
Our Physical Education Program is designed to provide students with a variety of experiences focused on recreation, fitness and skill development. Our goal is to help students develop a love and appreciation for physical activity as it relates to their health, enjoyment and cooperative, competitive spirit. Physical education services are provided at the Gloucester YMCA every week by the Y staff with students participating in a variety of activities including fitness training, gymnastics, movement, swimming, team games and yoga. Students learn to lead, follow, and practice self control and socially acceptable responses. Emphasis is placed upon cooperation, collaboration and enjoyment more than competition and perfection. During the winter months, children have the opportunity to replace their weekly Y program with a ski program offered at Bradford Ski Mountain.
Spanish classes are held twice a week for all grades. Spanish in Kindergarten and Grade One, builds basic vocabulary and helps students develop an ear for the language. Songs, games, movement, and interactive activities help students acquire language. In Grade 2-8, students continue to build vocabulary and are able to use these words to express their own ideas and understand short stories. Reading and writing instruction focuses on creating a strong awareness between the spoken and written word.
More than Spanish is a unique program in which we combine the excitement of learning a foreign language with the opportunity of immersion in and discovery of a whole new culture. EPDS's More than Spanish program uses the immersion method of teaching. Directions, explanations and translations are provided in English whenever necessary. Research shows that children learn best when they are immersed in a language, and our Spanish lessons are constructed around five elements: Physical response, songs, games, hands-on activities and culture.
- Physical response is fun! Children learn new vocabulary through action.
- Music triggers memory. Songs are an integral part of the language learning process.
- Games foster excitement and cooperation. A multitude of action-based games reinforce the target vocabulary.
- Hands-on activities give children a sense of accomplishment. They are also an opportunity to teach new vocabulary relating to the acts of sharing, helping, and creating.
- Traditions, history and customs of another culture are a vital part of language learning. Children are introduced to special foods, daily habits, geography and holidays in a manner that is interesting and engaging.
Please see www.morethanspanish.net for more information about our Spanish program.