After school programs have started for the the school year and we are excited to introduce students to programs ranging from coding, theater, chess, and even exploring the great outdoors! Two new programs have been given support from 1904labs, a local cloud-based software and data solutions firm, and Stray Dog, a local theater group in Tower Grove, which helps with our middle school theater program. 

Our coding program for sixth graders has been a hit so far! 1904 Labs has come in to teach our kids a skill that is highly in demand for job seekers. This program introduces our newest students to the basics of computer engineering and coding from real software engineers. 1904Labs makes community involvement a top priority for them, and this program fits in just right. The first week of the 10 week program began a few weeks ago and on the first day, the students even created their own app!

Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, our middle school students have the opportunity to express themselves creatively with Stray Dog Theater and their program manager Miles Bledsoe, who attends the after school program with our kids. Miles wanted to give these kids a chance to express themselves, something that helped them grow as a person when they were younger. “I feel like art exists and always exists for us to understand and interpret the reality we live in. I think being able to give that gift and expand that knowledge in young students,” Bledsoe said. “If you give young students a voice and a way to understand their own reality and create something because of it, I think that makes you more well rounded person, more in touch with other people, more empathetic.” For them, art exists to understand others, no matter where they came from, and gives students a way to express their voice that they wouldn’t think of before. Theater can benefit a person in so many ways and Miles wanted to bring that joy of expression they found to our scholars at LFLA.