Learners can register for any or all of  our classes and activities, whether on campus or with our community partners. Attendance for registered classes is never compulsory and if life gets busy and a member family can only make it for lunch, they have the freedom to do so.

While on campus learners have the option of using the Imagination Room and Lounge, when available, at any time.* For example, these are places they can go if they feel overstimulated and want a break from activity, feel like sitting out class that day, or simply inspired to create!  

This program will appeal to those looking for: 

  • More time with peers.
  • More opportunities for self directed learning.

  • More enrichment opportunities.

  • More choices.

  • Parents who trust the process of non-compulsory learning, or those who wish to discover more about it.

* Learners are not allowed on campus without their parent or an assigned Parent on Duty (POD). 




Click on any of the words in the table below to learn more about it, or scroll down to browse our offerings.



Self-Directed Hour
Real Recess                                                                                  

Facilitator: None

Target age: Multi - 5 through Teens

# of participants: 45

Cost: $5

Room: Real Recess

Self directed, unstructured play and exploration in a mixed age environment. Learners play and create together with great joy and enthusiasm.

  • Show & Tell - Learners and parents are welcome to bring something to share with the group.

  • Imagination Room - Lots of art and craft supplies for creating.

  • Board games - Games in all age ranges available.

  • Outdoor activities - Basketball, tag, paddle ball, parachute.

  • Indoor play-structure - A favorite with the younger learners!

  • Learning toys - Lego, K'NEX, Contraptions, Jix, Gears!, Suspend.

  • Lounge - A space away from all the activity. Work on your own project from home, read one of our books, use your technology without volume or with headphones, play chess, engage in quiet conversation with a new friend. A relaxed no-shoes zone.

Concurrent Classes Session I

Messy Art

Facilitator: Molly Frieri

Target ages: 5-8

# of participants: 15

Cost: $13

Room: Lobby


Create amazing, fun and totally MESSY works of art. This class is designed for kids to get messy while exploring art.  They will practice fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and sensory play. Some projects to look forward to include flyswatter painting and balloon pop painting.


Facilitator: Janeen Guynn

Target age: 8-11

# of participants: 15

Cost: $3

Room: Kitchen

Conduct a variety of real time experiments and figure out if they REALLY prove what they are supposed to. Use the scientific method-not science recipes-to determine what your findings are. Modify your experiments to test your own hypothesis. This class is designed to encourage scientific inquiry and growth in the 4C's of 21st century learning, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity.

Youth Leadership Program for Toastmasters

Facilitator: Janine Deckard

Target age: Multi - 8 through Teens

# of participants: 15

Cost: $7

Room: Real Recess

Develop communication and leadership skills through practical, active experience. Participants will evaluate present speaking ability, organize and give speeches and impromptu talks, control voice, vocabulary and gestures, and give constructive feedback. Possible projects include video recordings and creating a YouTube video.


Concurrent Classes Session II


Music Appreciation

Facilitator: Stephanie Shreffler

Target age: Multi - 5 through Teens

# of participants: 10

Cost: $15

Room: Community Room

Music is another language to which young minds need to be exposed in order to more easily use and/or understand as they move through life. Music appreciation class will explore what we think music is, the science of what music is, what can be used to produce music (an introduction to instruments), and the elements of music composition. Specifically, we will explore rhythm, pitch, and timbre, and we will end the session with a foray into composition.  No musical background is needed, but it will be helpful if the learner can grasp the concept of fractions.


Theme Park Design

Facilitator: Janeen Guynn

Target age:  5-8, 8 participants

8-11, 8 participants

11 through Teens, 8 participants

Cost: $3

Room: Real Recess

Working in teams, design your own imaginary theme park. You’ll pick a location, design a logo, and work your way through creating a ride, a show, and a special food item. Students will work on problems related to art, engineering, theatre, cooking, mathematics, and marketing.

What’s Your Opinion?

Facilitator: Dee Dee Caputo

Target age: 11 through Teens

# of participants: 15

Cost: $2

Room: Classroom 1

There's no debate about it! Debates are a great tool for engaging students while helping students grasp essential critical thinking and presentation skills. Debates also develop abstract thinking, clarity, organization, persuasion, public speaking, research, and teamwork. During our class of “What's Your Opinion?" students will understand the debate process, play a variety of roles in a debate, work in groups, and follow the rules and procedure of a good debate. Students will listen to other viewpoints and have a chance to respond to them.  Our debates will foster students' abilities to analyze and interpret informational texts, strengthen students' oral speaking skills and develop impromptu responses through group discussions and activities.

CEP Workshops

CEP Workshops

Facilitator: None

Target ages: Multi - 5 through Teens

# of participants: 45

Cost: $0 or minimal To be determined with project selections

Room: Various

CEP Workshops will be a time for self directed activities. During CEP Workshops the Imagination Room, Lounge, and Real Recess Room will be available for independently directed learning. The Teen Cohort (11+) will also have access to the Den and Recreation Area. In addition, there might be workshops, make and takes, on-going or short term classes, youth led classes, show and tell, or community presenters during this time. You can view and sign up for each day's offering  when you arrive on campus that day. Learners may  lead  workshops or parents can sign up to  be a "Spontaneous Facilitator" for a workshop - your chance to share something you enjoy in a bite sized way! Some workshops that are already planned for the Fall term include sewing, cooking, and yearbook which will meet every other week through the calendar year.



First Class



Facilitator: Janeen Guynn

Target age: Multi - 4+, Teen assistants welcome!

# of participants: 40

Cost: $1

Location: Hogan Park 1201 E. Wadley Avenue

(Park in the Sibley Youth Garden parking lot)

This class is going to focus on action, cooperation, strategy, and FUN! Join us for various crazy tag games, favorite games from last term, and traditional outdoor games that get groups working together.

Concurrent Classes


Youth Garden Discovery & Fun

Facilitator: Sarah Clothier

Target age: Multi - 5 through Teens

(Younger siblings may be present but parents must take full responsibility for their care and entertainment)

# of participants: 20

Cost: $0

Location: Sibley Nature Center Family Garden

In this class we will be learning a variety of skills and concepts through garden work. Students will be engaged in the day to day care and maintenance of a garden including weeding, planting, transplanting, and harvesting. Students will be encouraged to practice observational and critical thinking skills through problem solving and spontaneous discovery. This term we will be continuing to maintain the garden and, as the seasons change, we will be learning about crop rotations and seasonal planting. We will also continue to explore the plants and animals of our garden habitat and, of course, enjoy our harvests.

Butterfly Garden Design Team

Facilitator: Sarah Clothier

Target age: 11 through Teens

(Somewhat flexible in the case of passionate students)

# of participants: 12

Cost: $0

Location: Sibley Nature Center Family Garden

This class is intended to be an independent study class. Students will work individually and in small groups to create a design for the new butterfly garden including hardscapes (paths, benches, trellises), playscapes (spaces for kids to play on), and planting (what plants we should choose and where they go). Classes will alternate between speaker presentations on subjects such as landscaping basics, designing playscapes, and planting for pollinators, and research days where students will gather more information and sketch out rough drafts of their ideas. The final design will be decided on by the whole class, and will then be built into the garden by skilled contractors. Students must be able to work independently with little supervision and be able to work with others as a team. Students are encouraged to pursue their curiosity and unleash their creativity.



Concurrent Morning Classes



Facilitator: Jeremy Clothier

Group One, Target age: 5 - 10

# of participants: 15

Facilitator: Michael Nickell

Group Two, Target age: 11 through Teens

# of participants: 15

Dates: Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Nov. 9

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Cost: $12 for 3 classes

Location: Sibley Nature Center

Sibley Nature Center is offering a bird’s eye view on our feathered friends. From the large soaring Golden Eagle to the tiny Verdin we will delve into the amazing lives of birds. We will see what lies under the feathers, the many ways they find food, and how they get a mate. Come and get bird-brained with us this Fall.

Afternoon Classes


Let’s Explore Sculptures

Facilitator Annelorre Robertson

Target Age: Multi - 5 through Teens

(Special activity for siblings under 5 available)

# of participants: 40

Date: Sept. 21

1:30 pm -3:00 pm

Cost: $2

Location: Museum of the Southwest

In this interactive outdoor class, learners will tour the Museum of the Southwest’s sculpture garden with focus on several works of art, exploring methods of creating a sculpture, history, art interpretation and culture.  This session is appropriate for all age levels and will include lecture, movement activities and Question and Answer session.  Come dressed to explore as we will be walking, standing and moving during this 1.5 hour session.


Facilitator: Zach Coker

Target Age: Multi - 5 through Teens

(Special activity for siblings under 5 available)

# of participants: 40

Date: Sept. 28

1:30 pm -3:00 pm

Cost: $2

Location: Blakemore Planetarium

Learn about the most primitive object in space, left over from the formation of our solar system. This class will delve into the world of asteroids and comets and what happens when one gets knocked off course and collides with other planetary bodies, including Earth! After watching the new show “Incoming!”, students will then have a chance to make original discoveries of asteroids, comets, and even dwarf planets within our solar system using data from the IASC (International Astronomical Search Collaboration) program. This new program allows citizen scientists to make real, original discoveries that can be reported back to IASC. If confirmed as a new discovery, our group will be able to name the objects discovered during this class.

My Vision, My Museum

Facilitator: Annelorre Robertson

Target Age: Multi - 5 through Teens

(Special activity for siblings under 5 available)

# of participants: 40

Date: Nov. 2

1:30 pm -3:00 pm

Cost: $2

Location: Museum of the Southwest

What would you do if you could design your own museum??  Learners will tour the Durham Children’s Museum exhibition spaces exploring and interacting with current hands-on displays.  Exploration will be followed by a  classroom discussion that constructively evaluates the learners’ experiences.  Then they will be asked to draw or write about their vision for the future of the Children’s Museum.  Their projects will be used in an ongoing youth art exhibition, My Vision, My Museum.