Chicago Catholic School Collaborates with Local Businesses to Offer Extracurricular Programs to Students and Children of the Community

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Everest Academy, a Catholic school in Lemont, Illinois, actively collaborates with local businesses to offer over ten extra-curricular activities to both students and community members, including Polish class, taekwondo, art, dance, preschool dance, chess, and violin, voice and piano lessons.

At a time when many schools are cutting extra-curricular programs, Everest Academy of Lemont, Illinois continues to grow its robust program of after-school activities and clubs with the help of local businesses. The program offers an outlet for creative expression and intellectual growth that reaches beyond traditional school hours, and saves parents from extra driving time with one convenient location. The growing list of over ten after-school activities and clubs are open to both students and children in the local community. New additions this spring include Art, Dance, and a preschool dance class.

Driven by Everest Academy’s mission of Integral Formation and motto of “Always Higher,” the after school programs offer students the opportunity to develop leadership skills to serve the community. Many of the school’s extracurricular activities are made possible through the collaboration and generosity of local teachers and business owners.

Dance Class, taught by instructors of the Allegro Dance and Music Academy in Lemont, currently offers group hip-hop lessons to students, age 6-11 years. Music Lessons include personal lessons in voice, piano, and violin, offered by Everest Academy faculty and alumni. The school’s newest violin instructor, Irina (Fatykhova) Young, is an alumnus of Everest Academy with a Masters Degree in Violin Performance and a rich musical background stemming from Russia’s leading music university, Moscow State Conservatory.

Martial Arts Classes, led by head T-USA instructor (Lemont location), Mary Beth Thissant, provide students with a discipline that teaches self-confidence, humility, and sportsmanship combined with the highest level of physical exercise. “I like Martial Arts because I learn certain moves that protect me,” says Kindergarten student Carson Smith, of Plainfield, about his favorite after school activity. Carson’s mother, Maxine, agrees that Martial Arts Class, along with other activities, is beneficial for her son because, “It helps build self confidence and self control. The other after school activities help him sharpen his social skills in general.”

For students looking to hone their foreign language and critical thinking skills, Everest Academy offers Chess Club and Polish Language Classes. Chess instruction is provided by the experienced and engaging insructors of Chess Scholars, an organization that serves about 150 schools and community centers in Northern Illinois. Polish Language Classes, taught by Ms. Hanna Barszczewska, are offered to both Polish speaking and non-Polish speaking children. The classes are taught at three different levels, ranging from beginners to advanced, and include historical and cultural highlights.

Everest Academy is proud to support local businesses and arts instructors, and to promote community involvement in the students’ education. In recent years, the Everest Academy Drama Club has invited local families and friends to enjoy seasonal performances, such as Peter Pan and Miracle on Bethlehem Street. The club is currently working on a spring performance, Blame It on the Wolf, which is a version of the Little Red Riding Hood story. Nina Polivka of Lemont, a 3rd grade student and member of the Drama Club, says that the upcoming play will have a comical twist. “I am looking forward to seeing one of the older students play Little Red Riding Hood and a little first grade student play the role of the elderly grandma. That should be funny.” says Nina.

Everest Academy is an independent Roman Catholic school in Lemont educating children from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The teachers and staff are dedicated to forming the whole child by providing the highest level of academics, by building strong character, and by preparing generous leaders ready to serve the community. If you would like to learn more about Everest Academy’s approach to education, please contact Heidi Matelich at 630-243-1995 or visit http://www.everestadvantage.org.

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