The halls of Parkway Elementary School were filled with creative projects of all varieties recently during Pine Tree ISD’s Genius Hour.
The Genius Hour program is designed to help students find hobbies and activities that interest them, and school officials say it gives them time to work on projects or activities — such as drumming or wood crafts — they might not get to do in a regular school day.
The program is divided into clubs, and the school offers about 30.
Art teacher Misti Scaggs said the students pick their top three interests at the beginning of the year. They are then divided into clubs with about 12 to 15 students.
The children meet with their Genius Hour clubs once every nine weeks, which is four times a school year.
The program started at the district’s Birch Elementary School last school year. After its success, Parkway added the program for the school year.
Avery Smith, 7, and Layla Jones, 7, both said they wanted to join the art club because they love art and being creative.
The first graders worked on re-creating a drawing of ornaments on a branch Scaggs had on the board.
Upstairs, second graders Delilah Howard, 7, and Baylee Gray, 7, were painting wooden ornaments in wood crafts.
The ornaments were a small circle that looked like they were cut from a tree. Baylee’s ornament read “Feliz Navidad” — the Spanish phrase for “Merry Christmas.”
Delilah said she had fun making her ornament with her initials, and she was excited to put it on her Christmas tree at home.
Baylee said she joined wood shop because she likes to paint.
Other classes included drumming, cup stacking, 3D printing, paper crafts, science experiments and bracelet making.
In the “Drums Alive” class, students were using drum sticks on large exercise balls to drum along to different songs. The students would take turns leading a song. The rest of the class would follow what the leader drummed.
Children in the “Cup Stacking” class were running a relay stacking and unstacking large cups.
Scaggs said the Genius Hour gives teachers a chance to expand on some topics they might not have time for in the classroom. She gets to work more on blending and other skills with the students.
“It’s really just to give them a little extra,” she said. “Just to give them a little taste of a whole bunch of different stuff that they don’t get on a daily basis in the classroom.”