Oropeza Elementary School and Renaissance High School, located across the street from one another, recently joined forces to develop and launch the Connect Club, an afterschool program offering students social-emotional learning opportunities.
The Connect Club creates a fun, caring space for 35 elementary and high school students to interact and develop social-emotional skills through visual art, music and dance.
The club helps students develop skills on topics such as how to relate appropriately to peers, cope with frustration, and control one’s emotions, thoughts and behavior. Other topics include creating and maintaining friendships, conflict resolution and more.
The club is a collaborative project developed by Edward Rodezno, a school psychologist at Oropeza, and James Lingen, the wellness center facilitator at Renaissance.
“Team building, partnership and friendships are something we as facilitators feel is something that has been crucially lacking in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” shared Rodezno and Lingen. “This collaboration is our contribution to community building within LBUSD.”
The Connect Club meets twice a month at Renaissance or Oropeza depending on the scheduled activities. The participating fifth-grade students from Oropeza are selected by teachers while the students from Renaissance are selected based on their desire to mentor younger students.