After-School Programs

After-School Programs 2023-24

School starting means it’s time for PIE After-School!

Fun with Fiber!

Last week’s activity, ‘Fun with Fibers’, took some serious concentration. On Tuesday, 2nd and 3rd grade used wool roving to be felted into different shape cookie cutters. With lots of toothpick poking to get the fibers to stick together, we were finally left with a stuffed animal in the shape of our cookie cutters. On Wednesday, we made balls with kindergarten and 1st grade! This was a great tactile experience for the younger kids, having to use both hands to roll the balls. With perseverance and great determination, all the kids were so pleased with how their projects turned out!

Biscuits & Butter

In mid-January, we had a tasty week at PIE After School. We made biscuits and homemade butter! We started by carefully measuring each ingredient for the biscuits. We discussed what makes the biscuit rise and what makes them so fluffy. Then we got shaking as our biscuits were baking! With our jars half full of heavy cream and a few marbles, we danced around for 10 straight minutes. Next we strained and separated the remaining buttermilk out from the solid butter. The only thing left to do was sample our hard work- and it was delicious!

Gingerbread Cookies!

December means cookie time! Cookies were an absolute hit at this PIE afterschool program! We practiced rolling out the dough with a little flour and a rolling pin. Using every bit of the dough, we measured and cut out as many cookies as we could. No gingerbread cookie is complete without a few light taps of powdered sugar from a fine mesh sifter. Most importantly we sampled them (for quality control, of course)!

 

Holiday Decorations

PIE after school had so much fun making holiday decorations! Repurposing gum ball containers we made our own beach themed snow globe ornaments. They were filled with seashells, sea glass, silver spray painted seaweed, mica for some natural sparkle, and even a special bead of condensed ocean magic was included.

We also decorated traditional wooden ornaments with fun patterns. Our fine motor skills were put to the test, as the goal was to fit as much as you could onto the ornament. To really complete the holiday look we made fancy paper chain links and decorated snowflakes made out of coffee filters. Kids learned a bit about mica, snowflakes, and discussed their wonderful winter traditions.

 

Apples & Cider!

On Tuesday, Grades 2 & 3 did old-fashioned cooking with apples at PIE After School. They cut up local apples and cooked them with a bit of water; then put the mush through food mills, added some sugar and cinnamon (which they ground with a mortar and pestle – did you know that cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree??). They also used an old apple peeler and put the peels in a jar with sugar and water to make apple cider vinegar (it will take a week or so). Everyone agreed that cider vinegar was SOUR but loved the applesauce. They each took home jars of both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, Grades K & 1 went to the Conlan’s for some cider pressing! This tradition is one of our favorites, and we were happy to introduce a new group of kids to the old-fashioned process of grinding apples in a grinder, then putting the pulp into a press and squeezing out the juice. They love to help, and the result was delicious! There was also plenty of time to run around.

Nature Prints

Nature prints allowed kids to make a sun print and a nature rubbing! We learned all about how many things are photosensitive, including ourselves. We placed objects on special photosensitive paper and exposed the paper to sunlight to make our sun prints, also known as cyanotypes. After developing them, we could see the outlines left behind from each item. And with creativity flowing, each student also had the chance to make a nature rubbing with crayons. There were many kinds of leaves, ferns, and shells to place under their paper for texture and detail. We brushed over our crayon rubbings with a watercolor wash. We learned that the wax in the crayon rubbings wouldn’t mix with the watery paint. When time allowed, we played “Sharks & Minnows” and telephone tag!

Outdoor Adventure!

The beautiful Autumn weather provided an opportunity to get outside and move at PIE’s Outdoor Adventures! Kids used their sight-seeking skills as we looked for items in the woods, using clues from a team leader. The challenge of working as a team, without being able to verbalize, led to some creative communication styles and dynamic problem-solving. Luckily, there was even time and energy for a few games before pick-up!

After-School Programs 2022-23

After-School Pop-ups are back!

For the 2022-23 school year, we began by partnering again with The Vinalhaven Land Trust to offer some fun and educational outdoor after-school programs.  We started the year with a Woods Walk for both grade groups K-1 and 2-3. This was followed by our annual cider-making at the Conlans. Check out below to see what else we have been up to. As these are “pop-ups”, we are again staying flexible but have hopes of offering a program every two weeks!

Field trip to Robert’s Harbor Farm

PIE’s K-3rd grade students spent two glorious afternoons this week at Roberts Harbor Farm, tasting the incredible produce, enjoying the beautiful flowers, meeting the pigs and chickens, and learning all about farming. Thank you to Dana, Noel, Kate and Brandon for an outstanding educational experience. Thank you to Leigh Chilles for dropping our little farmers off in style.

Bees, Honey & Beeswax Candles

May is a critically important month in the life of Maine bees, as hives buzz with activity and bees begin to produce a new season of honey. PIE celebrated the incredible contributions that bees make in our lives, and our bee experts, Kelly, Jake, and Hope wowed students with their endless knowledge. Students enjoyed apples that were pollinated by bees and honey made by our very own Vinalhaven bees. They also learned the skill of beeswax candle-making which has been practiced for hundreds of years. “Bee” sure to ask PIE participants about their new knowledge and skills.

Athletics with Craig!

Athletics with Craig gave kids a chance to work out some pent-up energy after a week of gloomy weather. Tuesday’s skies allowed for outside adventures, but a soggy Thursday in the auditorium was equally special and energetic. From juggling, to relay races, to team dances and movement, students had many different opportunities to showcase their athletic abilities and have lots of fun!

Making Pizza with Cait!

The return of “Cooking with Cait,” introduced our chefs to the endless creative opportunities available when making pizza and salad. From perfecting knife skills, to kneading, rolling and tossing the perfect pizza crust, this was the epitome of hands-on instruction. We are incredibly thankful for Cait’s knowledge, energy and encouragement.  

Click here for a little snippet of the fun we had – thank you Cait!!

More Science Experiments!

This week our student-scientists conducted some exciting experiments. They used cabbage to explore acids and bases, made art from milk and soap, saw pepper “fly”, and created instant “hot ice”. What a great set of activities to stimulate kids’ curiosity! Many thanks to Dani Hall for devising and leading this session!

Time to Make Maple Syrup!

We almost didn’t make it to the Conlans this year because of a pesky late-winter snowstorm. But after adjusting our plans, both age groups managed to have fun in the snow, go on a scavenger hunt in the woods and learn about gathering and making maple syrup – with a final treat of maple syrup on ice cream. Thank you Jim and Colleen Conlan, for your many years of hosting this wonderful activity for our kids!

Let’s Get Active – Exercise & Games in the Gym!

It was impossible not to have fun in the gym with Craig and the team. The hour of dancing, cardio, stretching, hand/eye coordination drills, and obstacle courses got everybody moving, heart rates up, and blood pumping to the high-energy beat. It made for a great afternoon – and a bunch of tuckered-out little Vikings.

Snowflakes!

Who knew there were so many fun ways to think about and make snowflakes? Did you know they are all hexagons? We cut paper filters, strung beads, used pattern blocks, and made crayon-resist paintings; we even had a chance to play our snowflake memory game. The possibilities are endless – just like snowflakes!

Cooking with Cait!

Cooking with Cait was great: we learned how to make guacamole and quesadillas! Some of us were a bit dubious, but most of us really got into the process and loved the tasty snacks. Many thanks to all the adult helpers, as it took a few! We can’t wait for Cait to come back in the spring to do some more cooking!

 

Science is Fun!

At this PIE After School, we watched raisins dance (thanks to carbon dioxide), made crystals (with super-saturated Borax), made Ooblek (slime) with cornstarch and glue, and watched black ink turn into blue, green and red! No, it’s not magic – it’s SCIENCE! An awesome and engaging time was had by all! Thank you Dani Hall for making science so fun! 

 

Fun Activities!

We kicked off the new year with “Kids’ Choice” – always so much fun! Activities, in order of popularity: Stacking Cups, Packing Peanuts, Play Clay, Jenga, Foam Blocks, Drawing, Puzzles, and Legos. But everyone did almost all of them and everyone had a great time!

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

We made lots of holiday sugar cookies this week – YUM! Kids rolled out their dough balls, cut shapes, decorated, baked, and brought home a bagful. Lots of busy, happy kids: a great time! Happy Holidays to all!

Holiday Ornaments

Such beautiful results came out of 2 days of Holiday Ornament-making! We made 3 ornaments: Woven Diamonds, Stained Glass Circles, and Beaded Shapes. The kids were really engaged and did such careful and creative work. It was a lot of fun! Thanks to Maisie, Ryann, and our HS helpers Maddie and Lydia!

Creative Movement with Dani Hall

Grades K & 1 moved and shook with Dani and Gillian to music and to the beat of a drum. They had a blast, especially doing the “freeze” dance! K & 1 also ended the session with some awesome cup stacking!

More Fun & Games!

We had so much fun with RJ, that Grades 2 & 3 did it again! We ended with some monster cup stacking. We can’t wait to do this again!

Low-Tide at Lane’s Island

The weather couldn’t have been nicer for a day of exploration in November! The students explored tide pools, found creatures, collected treasures and got to get a bit muddy having fun while learning. Thanks to Maisie, Acacia, and Gillian for taking them there!

Fun & Games!

It was a perfect day for an outdoor obstacle course. The kids had a blast and used up a lot of energy! Thanks, RJ for making it happen, and thanks to helpers Sam and Kelly!

Making cider with the Conlans’

Our annual cider-making trip was a wonderful time as always! The weather was perfect and the kids really got into the process of pressing the apples. We always look forward to our yummy adventures at the Conlans’ – thank you Jim and Colleen for being such great hosts!

Woods Walk

What an amazingly fun time we had on our walks on the Story Book Trail! Besides enjoying the awesome trail, we had a relay race and a scavenger hunt! Grades K and 1 went on Tuesday and then grades 2 and 3 went on Wednesday. It was the perfect way to kick-off our Pop-Ups this fall!

Pop-Up Programs 2021-22

PIE After School Pop-ups replace Perspectives After School for 2021-22

For the 2021-22 school year PIE is offering bi-weekly afterschool pop-ups for grades K-1. This is the largest elementary group, and most in need of after school activities, and we don’t have the capacity to run a full elementary program at this time. We began this fall focusing on the bounties of the season, using local apples to make cider and sauce, and cranberries to make relish. Moving into the holidays, we made gingerbread cookies and tree ornaments. We missed January, when the school went remote during an Omicron outbreak, but were back in February for more fun: making paper bag puppets and stretching our mind and bodies with yoga. March brings that perennial favorite, making maple syrup with the Conlans, and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by making biscuits and green butter. Whatever the activity, each pop-up session features hands-on activities and exploration, along with play and a healthy snack.

Because there is still uncertainty about Covid, we are staying flexible, and planning week-by-week. So far, we’ve been having a great time! Many thanks to PIE board member, Kelly Richards, and our community and parent volunteers for making this pop-up program such a success!

Let’s Get Outside!

What a day to be outside! We went on a Nature Scavenger Hunt and played outdoor games in a beautiful field. Everyone did a lot of running – we had a great time! This was our last pop-up until fall – see you then!

Roberts Harbor Farm

It was a perfect day for a trip to Roberts Harbor Farm! We visited the greenhouses full of beautiful flowers and vegetables. We fed “chicken scratch” to the hens (and Sparkles, the guardian rooster). We planted potatoes (“eyes up”) in specially marked rows so kids can come back and watch their progress over the season. At the end, each child received a marigold to take home and plant in their garden.

Let’s Make a Snack!

What a delicious afternoon we had on April 28th! We made tasty snacks: oatmeal-honey-peanut butter bites and popcorn – and of course, we ate them (with a few to take home)☺️. One child said, “these are so good, I could cry!” We also played a memory game using pictures of the ingredients, and a popcorn version of Simon Says … POP!

Kids Choice! Favorite Games & Activities

It was a gloomy day outside, but inside there were lots of happy kids doing lots of different fun things this week at after school pop-up. Legos, stacking cups, play clay, Jenga and more!

Superheros!

What is your super power…we all have one! Students created their own superhero with special powers on March 31st with Miss L. After drawing their life-size superhero, they then aced a superhero obstacle course!

Irish Soda Biscuits & Homemade Butter

There was a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on at the St. Patrick’s Day pop-up. The students danced to Irish music, and made some delicious Irish Soda Biscuits and homemade GREEN butter! It was a perfect way to celebrate this Irish Holiday.

Maple Sugaring with Jim and Colleen Conlan

It was a perfect day for maple sugaring! On March 3, Jim and Colleen showed us the yellow sap bubbling in their new condenser, and took us for a walk in the woods to find animal tracks and sap buckets hanging on maple trees. Jim helped us tap a tree and gather sap from the buckets, which we took back to the condenser, then we had the best treat of all: ice cream and maple syrup! Afterwards there was time to play in the snow before parents came for pickup. Thanks Jim and Colleen, Kelly and Julie!

 

Yoga & Games

Yoga & Cooperative Games: On February 17, Dani Poole was our guest Yoga teacher at after school pop-up, with lots of ways to stretch our minds and bodies! We also played cooperative games with Kelly and Samantha, including “All Aboard” and “This is a Dog”– which were not just fun, they were hilarious!

Paper Bag Puppets

On February 3rd, we made paper bag animal puppets with “Miss L”, aka Taylor Leach, ace librarian, and friend of kids. It was so much fun! The kids did an excellent job and put lots of imagination into their animals.

Holiday Ornaments

It was a busy, happy time making holiday ornaments yesterday (December 16). The kids were so excited for the music concert later, they could barely stand still. One child, while jumping up and down: “We’re going to sing RUDOLPH!!!”

They made some really beautiful ornaments, and drawings, and stacked a lot of cups. We hope the ornaments made it onto your trees!
It’s been a great fall at PIE Pop-ups. Thanks for all the help from our fantastic volunteers. We’ll be back January 6 for another pop-up. Until then, Merry Christmas, everyone!

PS. The Winter Concert was FABULOUS!

Gingerbread Cookies

A great group of Gr. K-1 bakers made Gingerbread Cookies at our afterschool pop-up on December 2nd! They carefully rolled out the dough, cut out shapes, decorated them with toothpick designs, baked them, and finally…they got to taste one and take some home. While the cookies baked and cooled, Sue read some Gingerbread stories. The Life Skills room smelled deliciously of spices, and the cookies were delicious, too!

Many thanks to Sue Dempster for leading this session, and to Kelly Richards and Samantha Thompson for supporting. All are previous elementary teachers! Tekla Webster, was our very able young adult helper.

Fun with Cranberries!

Fun with Cranberries: another fall food exploration. We learned all about cranberries, then each child ground cranberries together with oranges (and a spoonful of sugar!), then took the relish home for Thanksgiving.

Apples to Applesauce!

Apples to Applesauce: from start to finish. On November 4th, children peeled, cut, cooked and milled apples into sauce, then had a delicious snack. Some said it was the best applesauce they’d ever tasted!

Cider making with Jim and Colleen Conlan

Cider Pressing with the Conlans. On October 24th, Jim and Colleen involved kids in the entire process of making cider, from gathering apples to grinding, pressing, and finally, tasting cider – YUM!

A May visit to Roberts Harbor Farm

We were very lucky to have a return visit in May. The whole farm was flourishing: with greenhouses full of flowers and tomato plants, fields of early greens, and baby lambs cavorting in the pasture. Students transplanted marigolds to take home and fed the sheep dandelions and juicy grass. Owner Dana Webster gave a tour of the huge barn and gardens and shared the history of the Farm. Thank you Roberts Harbor Farm for great visits!

A visit to Roberts Harbor Farm with Kate Ritz

During the second week of March vacation, we were lucky enough to be able to visit Roberts Harbor Farm with Kate. We were able to hold and feed the chickens, pet and feed the sheep, check out new seedlings and even plant some seeds to take home! Thank you to Kate and Roberts Harbor Farm – it was super fun and we hope to do it again!

Maple Sugaring with Jim and Colleen Conlan

During the first week of March vacation, Jim and Colleen again welcomed students to see how maple syrup is made from sap. We were able to help drill and tap the maple trees, collect the sap and then see how it is boiled down to syrup. At the end of the visit, we were able to sample the yummy syrup on vanilla ice cream! Thank you Colleen and Jime – it was such “sweet” fun!