Let Missoula's great outdoors stimulate your child's curiosity!
Clark Fork School offers place-based after-school programs for children age 2 through 5th grade. All activities focus on having fun in the out-of-doors and deepening students' connection to the Missoula Valley.
For families already enrolled in our preschool program, we offer Shooting Stars After-School Program (ages 2-5).
We offer our Kids-Niche After-School Enrichment Programs for Clark Fork students, home schooled students, and students from Missoula County Public Schools from 3:00-6:00pm (2:00-6:00pm on Thursdays). We also offer pick-up for students enrolled at Rattlesnake Elementary.
These programs include these different age groups:
Kinnickinick (First Grade)
Fireweed (Second Grade)
Beargrass (Third- Fifth grade)
The Shooting Stars and Kid-Niche programs follow the below mentioned guidelines, adapted from David Sobel’s Ladder of Development. The ages listed below are approximations; remember that every student matures at a different rate and all activities should be developmentally appropriate.
Early Childhood ~ 2-5 yrs
Activities explore the “magic” of the natural world and focus on building compassion.
Ex. “Become” neighborhood animals, celebrate seasons, make child-sized nests, dig animal burrows in the snow.
Focus on noticing and observing things (rather than naming or identifying).
Early Elementary ~ 6-7 yrs
Activities continue to build curiosity, empathy and allure for the outside world, and investigations deepen, as developmentally appropriate.
Ex. Make pine cone birdfeeders, plant a sunflower maze, turn over fallen logs, adopt a tree.
Focus on exploring things and concepts, but don’t focus on naming/identifying (unless a child is particularly interested). This is a great time to introduce and begin exploring guidebooks.
Elementary ~ 7-11 yrs
Be curious, indulge in exploration, and create special places.
Ex. Build forts, create imaginary worlds, play capture-the-flag, plant native plants, search for treasures.
Begin to explore things and concepts in more depth. Begin identifying species if students are interested (though it’s still ok to make up names)