Kade Davis, Alex Delgado Diaz and Conlan Byrd receive “Gryffins of Excellence” for superb behavior at a BEACON enrichment club. [Photo courtesy of Kaitlin Thomas]

BEACON Afterschool Program opened its 12th year of programming on Tuesday, Sept. 6, for K-8 students at Helen M. Knight Elementary, Grand County Middle School and Moab Charter School.

During the last school year, BEACON served 665 students at the three sites, and program officials are expecting similar or greater enrollment numbers this school year.

“BEACON is a real asset for the Moab community,” BEACON Director Edith Sage said. “We are helping children achieve academically, and our program is working to have a positive impact on the social and emotional learning for the children in Grand County.”

In addition to its academic program, BEACON offers more than 150 enrichment clubs each year, and a majority of them are aligned with the Utah Core Curriculum. The first trimester includes a variety of clubs, ranging from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); to Arts and Humanities; to environmental science; to recreation; and a variety of clubs hosted by its community partners, including the Moab Valley Multicultural Center, the Grand County Public Library and the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center.

“Our enrichment clubs allow students to deepen their understanding of school day concepts in an alternative learning environment,” BEACON Program Manager Kaitlin Thomas said. “We are committed to making sure that what we are teaching reaches kids by being attuned to different learning styles … We strive to provide opportunities after school where students are having fun and letting their hair down after a long day, but are also engaged in learning new things and expanding their interests.”

In October, BEACON staff members Kaitlin Thomas, John Aldridge, Rob Magleby and Becky Peterson will be presenters at the Utah Afterschool Network’s annual State conference in Ogden to help share the program’s approach for developing enrichment lesson plans and working with community partnerships.

“BEACON is recognized as one of the best rural afterschool programs in Utah,” Sage said. “And we want to keep it that way. We provide excellent professional development training for our staff and have an exceptional management team.”

If you are seeking employment, interested in volunteering, providing a site for a field trip, sponsoring an event or workshop, or making a donation to support BEACON’s work, call Edith Sage at 435-259-2767, or Kaitlin Thomas at 435-719-4717.