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Enrichment Mini Courses: An Overview

Enrichment mini courses are quarterly elective classes that allow students to learn about an interesting topic outside of their core classes. These classes range from Shakespeare Monologues to Rugby Basics and everything in between (A full list of our past and present enrichment classes can be found below).

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MS Enrichment Course: Juggling

These courses differ from a traditional course in that they meet once a week and are not graded. They encourage students to nurture creativity, foster curiosity, and enjoy learning for learning’s sake. Enrichment classes are a great way for faculty to delve more deeply into a specific subject or passion and for guest teachers and other mission-aligned programs to work with our students. 

While enrichment mini courses are a fun change of pace in the school day for students, they also serve a deeper, more mission-critical purpose.

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HS Enrichment Course: Weight Training

First, the courses allow for teachers to build stronger relationships with students. Teachers have the flexibility to choose what they teach, allowing them to share their interests and non-academic passions. The courses also allow teachers to model for their students that a healthy, enriching lifestyle includes cultivating hobbies, rest, and recuperation. Such messaging is even more critical in the face of research that points to rising depression and anxiety in adolescent girls.

In addition, the enrichment program is one piece of Willows’ larger philosophy of forming the whole person. Willows aims to develop young women who are happier, more virtuous people instead of just stronger college applicants. 

MIDDLE SCHOOL VS. HIGH SCHOOL

Both the middle school and the high school have enrichment programs, but they each have a slightly different focus. Middle school enrichment courses are more social and exercise-focused, offering girls a chance to connect with their classmates. Upperclassmen enrichment courses, meanwhile, are more academically strategic and sometimes more rigorous, providing some additional preparation for college. 

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MS Enrichment Course: Filipino Folk Dancing

For example, the middle school and upper school have offered a dance class: Filipino Folk Dancing and Irish Dance, respectively. Both classes met weekly and were ungraded, but the middle school class practiced basic movements and steps while the high school class culminated in one completed performance. 

Another example of how upperclassmen enrichment marries rigor and rest is a past high school enrichment course on Catholic mindfulness. The class was taught by Angela Fortunato, who oversees the enrichment course program as Assistant Head of School. Fortunato presented students with new ways to approach Christian concepts. In one class, students meditate on a quote by St. Josemaria about passing our desires through a crucible while physically burning something with an actual crucible borrowed from the chemistry lab. Another session involved using modeling clay and exploring the concept of imitating Christ. These sessions require focus while allowing students to practice habits of rest and prayer. 

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HS Enrichment Course: Seasonal Flower Arrangements

Ultimately, the hope of enrichment courses is the hope of all of Willows’ programming: for girls to discover their freedom, develop their character, and consequently transform society for the good.

Below is a list of our past and current enrichment courses. To continue offering an array of enrichment mini courses, Willows is looking for parents, alumnae and other volunteers to teach a mini course. If you are interested in teaching a course, please contact Angela Fortunato (fortunato@willowsacademy.org) to propose your mini course.

Middle School Enrichment Mini Courses

Drama – What does it take to be on stage?
Beginner Guitar 
Game Time
Middle School Newspaper 
Connecting Art History & Rosary-making
Global Current Events
Nourishing the Body and Mind
Cinderella Variations
Dance
Drones Theory & Practice

World Cultures
Chess
First Aid
Filipino Folk Dancing
MS Typing
Juggling
Book Arts
Fashion Matters
Rugby Basics
Seasonal Flower Arrangements

High School Enrichment Mini Courses

Fashion Matters
Foundations in Personal Finance (Grades 11/12)
A History of Western Art – A Closer Look at the Renaissance
Introduction to German Culture and Language
Exploring Christian concepts with hands-on art and science projects
Shakespeare Monologues
Hispanic Culture: Spain, Mexico, Cuba, and Colombia (one country per quarter)
Humanities 101: Intro to Opera
From Philistine to Sophisticate
Francophone cinema
Global Current Events
STEAM into your future! 
Collaborative Jigsaw Puzzling
High School Lifetime Fitness: Bowling
Holidays in Finland: History, Food, and Song
High School: Stress Management through Self Care Strategies
Tolkien and the world of Faërie

Cafe Francais
Drones Theory & Practice
Irish Figure Dance
Science Film Festival
Song & Dance in Movies
Fitness & Flexibility
First Aid
History in Film: Casablanca
Mindfulness & Stretching
Paleo Philosophy
SAT/ACT Prep
Application Mania
Shakespeare Monologues
Speaking about Movies in Spanish
Weight Training
AP European History/AP English
Adventures in Babysitting
Buen Provecho
Seasonal Flower Arrangements