About Academic Enrichment Activities
What Is an Enrichment Activity?
Through the course of our work collecting examples of academic enrichment activities, we've noticed some confusion on the part of many programs as to what exactly we mean when we refer to "enrichment." Many programs seem to separate the concepts of "academics" and "enrichment" to such a degree that our references to "academic enrichment activities" have been met with confusion. By way of explanation, the following are the three primary types of activities that we see in most afterschool programs:
Enrichment - Enrichment activities expand on students' learning in ways that differ from the methods used during the school day. They often are interactive and project-focused. They enhance a student's education by bringing new concepts to light or by using old concepts in new ways. These activities are fun for the student, but they also impart knowledge. They allow the participants to apply knowledge and skills stressed in school to real-life experiences.
Tutoring/Homework Help - These activities provide direct assistance with classroom work. Tutors or teachers help students complete their homework, prepare for tests, and work specifically on concepts covered during the school day.
Recreation - These activities are not academic in nature but rather allow students time to relax or play. Sports, games, and clubs fall into this category. Occasional academic aspects of recreation activities can be pointed out, but the primary lessons learned in recreational activities are in the areas of social skills, teamwork, leadership, competition, and discipline.
All three types of activities are important for children's development, but for the purposes of this project, we are focusing on just one: enrichment. Enrichment activities are characterized by a high degree of interaction, a project focus, and something else. The common theme is that academic concepts are taught through a fun, engaging activity rather than by direct instruction.