Avoca West Extracurricular Opportunities

2020-2021 School Year



What & Why

(Name of club & blurb)


(Grade, Open to All or Select Enrollment)


(Day(s) of week, Time, & General Date Range)

Contact Name

Girls on the Run*

Over the course of 10-12 weeks, GOTR coaches will lead the group in a structured curriculum "designed to enhance girls’ social, emotional and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. The program’s intentional curriculum places an emphasis on developing competence, confidence, connection, character, caring and contribution in young girls through lessons that incorporate running and other physical activities." We will build the physical endurance of our girls to tackle a 5K, but the growth in their sense of self and how to tackle interacting with others and their community is the REAL strength of the time together. Register your information here.

Open to 3rd-5th grade girls

Anticipated after Spring Break 2021 - Stay tuned for more details

Ms. Abrams and Principal Hutchison


Lessons are starting for your school’s Band, and this is a very exciting time for all our young musicians. Your child can still be a part of this unique experience! Group lessons are given twice each week and your child will have the opportunity to play in at least three concerts this year.  No experience is necessary.

Open to grades 4 and 5

Kyle Anderson


A unique, exciting, and dynamic chess instruction class which lifts each student to a new level of expertise. Each week students will enjoy an engaging lesson with supervised time to play with classmates. Students will grow their knowledge of the game - from the basics through opening theory, middle game tactics and end game combinations.

Open to grades K-5

Tuesdays 2-3 pm (Kindergarten)

Tuesdays 3-4 pm
(Grades 1-5)


Concert Choir:  

A performing ensemble, the Concert Choir participates in the District Choral Concert and the Avoca West Spring Choral Concert.  This group is for students who love singing with others and wish to experience advanced choral ensemble skills.  Rehearsals are fast-paced and focus on beautiful and healthy singing, musicianship, artistry, and choral reading skills.  

Open to all students grades 3-5 by invitation.

Concert Choir meets

Tuesday mornings 7:30-8:15 a.m. in the music room beginning September 3 and continues through the spring concert in April.

Elizabeth Weismehl


Gioso (pronounced “joy-OH-zoh, Italian for “joyful”) is a performance-based choral ensemble that serves as a preparatory experience for the Concert Choir.  Gioso is for students who love singing with others and are interested in beginning choral ensemble skills and performing.  Rehearsals focus on beautiful and healthy singing, musicianship, artistry and choral reading skills.  Gioso performs in the Avoca West Spring Choral Concert.

Open to all students grades 1-5

Gioso meets Thursday mornings in the music room beginning September 26 and continues through the spring concert in April.    The maximum capacity is 45.  If more students are interested there will be a lottery.

Elizabeth Weismehl


Comunità (pronounced “co-mu-ni-TA”, Italian for “community”) is open to students of all abilities.  An inclusive choir, Comunità is modeled after the High Five Choir at New Trier.  Emphasis is on building a strong community of joyful voices where everyone is welcome. Students will sing and use movement, instruments and other materials to work together towards a common goal.  Students take ownership by helping to decide which songs will be performed in concert.  Comunità performs on the Avoca West Spring Concert and at the New Trier High Five Spring Sing.

Open to all students grades 1-5

Comunità meets on Monday mornings in the music room beginning October 21 and continues through the New Trier High Five Concert on May 7.  The maximum capacity is 25.  If more than 25 students are interested there will be a lottery.

Elizabeth Weismehl

Boys Running Club: 

The goal is to help participants appreciate improvements in fitness through the joy of running and exercising.  Activities include  long, med. & short runs, hurdles, relays, long jump, high jump, etc.  Participants are required to support everyone, regardless of ability.

Grades 4 & 5 girls meet twelve times in the fall, boys 12 times in the spring.

Tuesdays & Thursdays after school for one hour

Pete Brennan

Viking Club:

Vikings club is our before school intramural sports program for fourth and fifth graders.  It is held in the Fall and Spring.  During vikings club we play a variety of sports including but not limited to soccer, football, basketball, hockey, and baseball.  This is a great opportunity to play organized games with your friends and have a fun safe time doing so.

 4th and 5th graders

We typically start Fall session the second week of school. Days of the week are TBD per grade level as of now.  Time 7:45am-8:15

Todd Webster &  Pete Brennan


An opportunity to explore different tech, TOYS (Technology outside Your School day) will sample different types of coding.

*Limited number of participants per session. Students will be chosen by lottery.*

4th/5th graders

Session 1: Mar 6-13

Session 2: May 1-8

Sessions will run 6 school days in a row (Friday - Friday)

Kelli Lane

Multi-Age After-School Book Club

This is a twist on your regular book club. These two three-week sessions will focus on a theme/idea, such as the use of dragons in fantasy books or  how to think like a detective in mystery books. Students  in grades 3, 4 and 5 with an interest in the topic and who have read books that connect with the topic will be able to participate.

3, 4 and 5

One day a week (TBD); sessions will be in January and February

Diane Bilcer

Best Buddies

Best Buddies offers a rich and diverse way to teach awareness, integrate students with disabilities with their peers, and nurture genuine friendships for students of all abilities. This program fosters social opportunities and cultivates friendship, inclusion, and leadership for people with and without disabilities. We will have 1 after school meeting per month with the group open to students and teachers. Different activities can include art projects, community outreach, team building, etc. We will have 1-2 fundraisers a year to raise money for the club and the activities.

Open to students grades 1-5

Caroline Henson

Olivia Kamysz

Natalie Anthony

Assembly Ambassadors

Assembly Ambassadors help create and present our Spirit Assemblies around themes that make Avoca a great place to learn. Students might write, speak, act a scene, help with tech or props, and more.

*Limited number of participants per session.

Grades 3, 4, and 5.

Tuesdays after school for one hour

Emily Bierbower

Elizabeth Bowman

Morning Yoga

Our morning yoga class will help students start the day with a calm and focused energy. Through breathing exercises, yoga postures, and playful collaborative activities, students will learn to strengthen their minds and bodies. Yoga can teach healthy habits for reducing stress and worry, focusing attention, and building self-confidence in addition to developing strength, balance, and flexibility. The benefits of yoga can stay with you for a lifetime...and it is FUN!

Students in grades 2-5

*Note that sessions are available for grade levels

Thursdays from 7:30-8:15

Oct 17 - Dec 12: Grades 4-5

Jan 16 - Mar 5: Grades 4-5

Mar 12 - May 7: Grades 2-3

Elizabeth Bowman

Trista Raczyla

Student Ambassadors

This group seeks to promote student leadership within Avoca West. Students work on projects throughout the year to better our school and our school-wide community. In the past, projects have included the Veteran’s Day Breakfast, school supply drive, kindness campaigns and others.

Grades 4/5

Twice a month, during the Grade 4-5 Lunch throughout the school year

Ms. Marinacci & Ms. Cross

Avoca Newsroom

The Avoca Newsroom staff will produce two bi-weekly newspapers (Avoca Central News and Avoca Central News, Junior Edition) and scripts for the iOnAvoca broadcast. Students may write, create visual artwork, or work on layout. All students may select the tasks they want each week!

We meet on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 3:05-4:00. Students may sign up for one or more days.

Ms. Michael

Girls Group

This is a group for 5th grade girls. It meets once/week in the SPRING after school. We do a variety of activities together, fostering a safe place for girls to talk about their own experiences and prepare them for middle school challenges. We focus on topics such as Healthy Friendships, Managing Stress, Relational Aggression, Self Esteem, Resiliency Skills, and Planning for the Future.

Open to 5th grade girls

1 day/week after school for 1 hour. Starts in April, right after spring break, ends in June.

Mrs. Nehring

2nd Grade Crazy 8’s Math Club

This is an after school math club that offers unique, high-energy math activities that appeal to kids of all math abilities.  Crazy 8’s offers mischief-making activities that kids love, like Bouncy Dice Explosion and Toilet Paper Olympics. They start with the fun, then roll in the math.

2nd grade students

1 day/week after school for 1 hour. Starts at the end of January. 8-week session.

Mrs. Byrd

Multicultural Club

Each week, we meet after school to “travel” to another country. We learn about geography, culture, customs, and fun facts. Through this we build global awareness and understanding, as well as increase opportunities for education about the many cultures of our students and around the world. Exploring cultures allows us to organically come to the awareness that we are more alike than different, while fostering acceptance, tolerance, and empathy.

Grades 3-5

Mondays 3:00-4:00

Starts October 7

Ends April 20 with a Pot Luck Dinner

Mrs. Miller

Ms. Cole

Mrs Raczyla