Arts, Coronavirus, Education

Challenge Island Offers Creative, Virtual Tools And Resources For Parents, Teachers

Challenge Island was recently named the No. 1 STEAM (STEM+Art) program in the world by Entrepreneur magazine.
Challenge Island was recently named the No. 1 STEAM (STEM+Art) program in the world by Entrepreneur magazine.
Credit Challenge Island/Sharon Estroff

As schools continue to transition to more virtual learning, teachers and parents have to be creative with how they keep young children engaged and entertained.

Challenge Island, an internationally known STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) program, is now offering virtual resources.

“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with Sharon Estroff, founder and CEO of Challenge Island.

Estroff is an award-winning elementary school teacher with two decades of experience in Atlanta public and private schools. She started Challenge Island in her second-grade classroom and has been running it as a business since 2003.

After the pandemic hit, Estroff spent some time in March thinking about how she could transition the program to a virtual platform.

“I thought, ‘You know we have all these children all over the country that need us, and they also need the consistency and the play of Challenge Island.’ So, we decided to start trying it out virtually, and the best place for me to start was with my students in the Atlanta area who still had about six weeks left in their semester. I honestly didn’t know how it was going to work, but I did know that everything they needed, they could find at home,” said Estroff.

The difference between two of Challenge Island’s new and innovative programs:

  • Social Bubble STEAM programs are not virtual. They are for small groups of kids that can meet anywhere. The parents/kids choose the program, the kids they meet with and the location.
  • Home Island is virtual and includes many components from after-school to field trips to Girl Scout events.

More information about the various programs, both virtually and not, can be found on their website here.

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