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Group launching Irmo after-school program for elementary students next year

The group is offering a Christmas science day on December 27 - 30, 2021 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

IRMO, S.C. — Elementary school students across the Irmo and Ballentine areas looking to further their learning can sign up for an extracurricular program called Leadership Enrichment Academy.

Starting in the new year, 2022, this program is officially launching four different after-school activity programs in science, culture, entrepreneurship and chess. 

Andrea Wildemann and Karen Wells, the co-founding directors, wanted more learning opportunities for their children. 

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"It's almost as though the education system has lost what the essence is of what it is to educate, which is to inspire and to encourage further learning," Andrea Wildemann, founding director said.

They started back in 2017, but they're looking to expand the program in the coming new year. 

"The club became so popular that we took it to the elementary school. We re-ran it as an extra-curricular after school program. It was hugely successful ... They sent out the flyers in the morning and by the afternoon they had to send an email saying please do not send checks, we cannot accept more kids," Wildemann said.

It's also available to bilingual students. They're hoping to open it up to underserved students as soon as they find a permanent sponsor for the group.

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"I think that all of this just really speaks to the need for tactile learning, especially in the elementary school phase," Wildemann said.

The goal is for these ladies to expand the program, even offering things like ordering science experiments for your party.

"We can provide people going over to the party and explain experiments or just the kids, so that's another service we offer," Karen Wells, founding director said.

They are expanding young ones minds, all in the name of education.

For more information about signing up for the program, you can visit their website at www.LEAofSC.com.

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