The End of the Summer?!

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and I guess that’s true, because I can’t believe that next week is already the last week of the summer class session! There aren’t any classes the rest of this week, so we really are down to the end.

The past few weeks, we’ve been enjoying some craft time, and I finally have pictures to share from the younger kids’ group. Last Tuesday, we only had one student from the older kids’ group, so she helped the little ones with a big, messy finger painting project. We made sure to clean up afterwards, but sure had a lot of fun!


Another favorite activity in the younger kids’ room has been the puppet theater, which the kids use both to put on puppet shows, to hide behind, or to use as a “kitchen”.



Lastly, as I mentioned in the last post, the younger kids have loved “reading” to volunteers and telling us stories. Sometimes they even read the story together.



It’s hard to believe that the summer session is coming to a close. It’s been very fun to get to know each of these energetic kiddos, and we will certainly miss seeing them during evening this fall!


The Fun Continues!!

As the temperatures rise, so does the amount of activity in the CLUES classrooms. Since it is summer vacation, the kids always bring a lot of energy to class, and it can sometimes be difficult to get them to focus. In order to keep them interested, Youth Intern Lauren has been working hard with the older students, finding out what interests them and sparking that interest further. One of her PM students loves to write stories, so they do a story challenge whenever there is extra time in the day. Another student is a history buff, so she shares knowledge from her college history classes with him.

Oh how the tables have turned! Here we have two of our older students reading aloud in Spanish to our Tuesday PM volunteers.

The older students have also continued learning about birds from the high schoolers in the YA! group at St. Paul. Here are a few pictures from class: they made a yummy treat one Thursday, and bird feeders the next.



With the younger students, we take every opportunity we have to make play time educational. We count out dolls while playing house, name the colors while we make art, and have the students “read” the story of the week to us. These students also love putting on puppet shows and playing restaurant.


While we are always working with the students on the theme of the week (a few recent ones have been the ocean, sports and exercise, and Fourth of July), we love that our students are steering their time with us to fit their interests.

Summer Session Off to a Great Start

It’s the end of June, which means that summer classes have officially been in session for four weeks! So far it has been an exciting term. The Creciendo Juntos group (ages 3-5) has had units on individuality, Eric Carle, and Animals. The Creando Juntos group (ages 6-10) has had units that include “All About Me”, summer vacation, and safety. Our CLUES students are always hard at work with both crafts and learning activities!

This week, the Creciendo Juntos group tackles family and community, while the older students in the Creando Juntos group will be talking about Animals!

Additionally, the high school students from CLUES’ Youth in Action (YA!) program will be working with the Creando Juntos group on Thursday nights, teaching them all about birds.

The group of students we have for the summer is full of energy and we are so excited to be together for the rest of the summer session.

We hope to have photos and further updates from class to post soon!


Summer End of Term Party Photos!

Once again, CLUES students celebrated another successful term with food, music, and awards. Congratulations to all our hard-working students and volunteers!

We started the day in the morning with some certificates for children in the Paso a Paso program.

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Many of our ESL students received awards for attendance and level gains as well!

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Mom and kids celebrate together:



We had lots of fun with our evening students as well!

Volunteer teachers helped pass out awards:

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Enjoying some dancing:IMG_7754

Thank you to all our great students and volunteers who made a successful summer term possible!

STEP UP Intern Stephania

This summer the CLUES Paso a Paso program had the privilege of hosting two wonderful STEP-UP Interns, who worked closely with our Paso a Paso–Creando Juntos students. One of our interns, Stephania, won STEP-UP Discover Intern of the year and got to accept her award from former mayor RT Rybak at the Guthrie Theater! Congratulations Stephania!

STEP UP Stephania Award

Here, Stephania shares her reflections on the work she did this summer.

The Paso a Paso Experience

Working here at CLUES all together has been amazing; our supervisor Laura has really helped us all throughout the summer. When I first got here I was really nervous not really knowing what to expect. The first 3 weeks we had to help teach an Animation Class. As the days went by more kids were showing up and they all seemed to be enjoying this course. They all learned how to work with different materials and how to make a stop motion animation film, and they also got to make some new friends.


After those 3 weeks were over my co-worker, Rosie and I were to teach our own class with the kids we had been working with. I remember being a bit nervous but not as much as before, because we had gotten to know these kids a little over the first 3 weeks. Two boys in particular were little troublemakers but yet they would do their work. As the weeks went by both of them started participating more and doing their work without complaining. Three of the girls got along well and they worked great together as a group and as individuals, they always did their work and were really sweet.IMG_7193

During the summer we also had to work with many other kids who didn’t know English. We had to work with them one on one while the rest of kids were able to do their work individually, if they ever needed help one of us would help them. That was one of the struggles while working here, all the kids needed and wanted attention so they would sometimes do something they aren’t supposed to, to get our attention. If we couldn’t get them to listen we would take them to the little kid’s room or take them to Laura so she could talk to them.

Even though it was hard sometimes, I really enjoyed working here and seeing these kids grow both academically and personally. I really got to know these kids and I love them, they helped me learn responsibility, safety skills, time management, and so much more. I really enjoyed working with the wonderful people here at CLUES, like Laura and Teresa and especially the kids for helping us when we had no idea what we were doing. It was truly an amazing opportunity.




STEP UP Intern Rosie and the Stop Motion Animation Camp

This summer, CLUES’ Paso a Paso program was pleased to host two youth interns through the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP summer jobs program. Rosie and Stephania helped to make sure we could offer quality children’s programming during the day for elementary age students out of school this summer!

Here, Rosie reflects on her first three weeks working with the kids in the Stop-Motion Animation Camp:


Being an Intern here at Clues has been amazing, I’ve enjoyed spending my time with the kids and getting to know each individual student, and I’ve enjoyed seeing them grow. I remember coming in on my first day and meeting the four teachers that did the Stop Motion Animation Camp, the feeling that I had didn’t last long  because I was so busy having fun with the David and my co-worker Stephania. I really enjoyed seeing David have fun with the clay.

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I remember David making a dog dragon out of clay, David at first was a little shy but he started to come out of his shell later on in class. The kids would come in and sit down and we would all go around and say our names to the new kids that came on different days. All the kids had a smile on their face while making their animations and at the end of it all they were able to take home their very own copy of the animations that they created. The final week of the Stop Motion Animation Camp they had a party and showed the videos of what the kids had created over the three weeks.


The  time I had with the kids was great, I was proud to be their teacher.


Summer Activities at CLUES!


Earlier this term the Paso a Paso kids celebrated summer by getting outside and exploring a little more with some fun activities.

We took a walk along the Midtown Greenway and had some fun running around in the fresh air:IMG_7193

We took a trip to the Midtown Global Market where older students went on a Scavenger Hunt and preschoolers practiced some dance moves during the “Wee Wednesdays” event. IMG_7197


Later in the week, students got a little messy with colorful ICE VOLCANOES outside. Perfect for the hot weather, and kids of all ages loved it! IMG_7216IMG_7217IMG_7220IMG_7298

Andreu helping out some younger students. IMG_7299IMG_7301

Summer is a fun time to be at CLUES!

CLUES (08/01-08/05)

This week in class we focused on the topic of food. We learned about the different food groups and the children cut out food from magazines and glued it to plates, they had to make a healthy meal and they had to try to include all the food groups.


On Monday we got to make some fruit kabobs, on Tuesday we tried different types of veggies, on Wednesday we got to make some fruit smoothies, on Thursday we got to try different types of fruits.

The kids enjoyed trying all the different foods, they had fun making the fruit kabobs and making the fruit smoothies. In the morning before the activities we did some reading and math, we played math bingo as well as some other games. I think the kids had an amazing time this week, I had an amazing time with them and we had fun making as well as tasting the food together.


-Stephania, Step-Up Youth Intern

2016 Stop Motion Animation Camp


Here at CLUES we held a three-week summer  camp for the Paso a Paso children’s program. During the camp, we focused on stop motion animation, where we learned how to make animations using various materials such as clay, paper, cloth and more. We had an amazing time teaching and also learning with the kids.


These are the 2 sets the children made for their final project. We had 2 teams, one team made an animation about Aliens vs Zombies, and the other group made theirs about a  boy who got stranded on an island.

Animating Jimmy

Here is Jimmy, David and Aryana animating their final project. In order to make their characters come to life, they had to move them little by little and take a picture of each movement!

Melanie Set

david cows

Here is David animating the farm animation. Everyone made an animal from clay according to the first letter of their name.

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We were also fortunate to have Hernán, a level 3 ESL student, help us create music and soundtracks for the animations.


The kids enjoyed their experience at the stop motion animation camp. They all got along and we had fun helping them, and getting to know them.


On July 7th, the kids got to show off all their hard work that they put into their animation and got to show it to their parents at a final screening. It was so fun seeing everyone so happy and proud! It was a great end to an amazing camp.

Here is a link to the animation videos: