Innovation Hour has Impact
It's Friday afternoon and students at Wakefield Forest have renewed energy. They are engaged, designing, thinking, and planning. Some have plans to build contraptions, one plans to build a model of the Parthenon, while others are learning how to use textiles. It's Innovation Hour.
Every student in grades kindergarten through fourth grade works on a project of their choice during the last hour of the day on Friday. Sharyn Prindle, Principal at Wakefield, set aside Friday afternoons back in 2016 with two goals in mind, to boost attendance on Fridays and to invigorate minds. Both are happening.
“I live in an amazing community that does lots of fun things and travel,” Prindle said. “I really was looking to keep kids coming in all the way through the whole week, through Friday.”
On Friday mornings, you'll see students emerge at drop off carrying cardboard or other recyclables in preparation for their afternoon project. Some students use this time for forming clubs or designing a poll to learn more about the community needs. The projects are self-generated with help available from the classroom teacher. To critics, it may appear that an hour of class time is gone, but Prindle says, "this is going to help them to hone and adapt other skills that they’re not getting to do during the school week."