THE LEARNING CONNECTION
The Learning Connection, located at Gruening Park, is a division of SERRC, Alaska's Educational Resource Center. The organization seeks to help people build a better life through education by providing adult basic education services, including ESL classes, GED exam preparation and computer and job skills training. It also provides family education programs, including early childhood education, in-school support and an after-school homework club.
They also have a family literacy program called Even Start for income-eligible parents who have an educational goal, have young children and are interested in parenting education and support and participating in literacy activities with their kids.
The Alaska Housing Development Corp., a key collaborator, provides the Gruening Park apartment.
Being out in Gruening Park allows services to be available within walking distance for residents of the Lemon Creek area.
JUNEAU COMMUNITY CHARTER SCHOOL
The charter school is a free public K-6 school within the Juneau School District and located at 430 Fourth St., on the ground floor of the Articorp Building, down the street from the Capitol. According to its mission statement, it strives to provide a balanced education using developmentally appropriate techniques that tap into the child's need to explore and create in all fields of learning.
The school has three multi-age classrooms: a K-1, 2-3 and 4-6. The curriculum is project-based, meaning the children delve deeply into topics of study, working in small groups to do research, and then write and prepare a creative presentation about their study.
The 4-6 class is currently working closely with the Alaska State Museum, learning about Alaska Native Cultures, making artifacts and creating an Alaskan Mysteries Project that they'd like to share with other schools.
The school infuses art, language and music into its program. Children are taught piano keyboarding skills in grades 1-3 and a stringed instrument in the upper grades. Currently, the sixth graders are providing community service in different preschools around town.
Furthermore, family involvement, both at home and in the classroom, is actively encouraged. Parents - as well as grandparents and family friends - are regularly scheduled to help out with lunch and recess duty, lead small groups in math games or writing activities, and bring their special talents and interests into the classroom. Parents are involved in all aspects of the school - helping in the classroom, cleaning floors, overseeing the running of the school, and, as in this instance, spearheading new ideas and projects.
For more information on the charter school, contact site manager Margie Hamburger at 586-2526.