Oak Brook students enjoy Computer Club
Second-grader Emma Petrucelli of Oak Brook plays a game using the smart board during Brook Forest Elementary School's computer club. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 22, 2013 2:44AM
OAK BROOK — Isabella Rios didn’t pay much attention to the rules when she showed up four years ago to participate in the Brook Forest Elementary School Computer Club.
The club generally is open to students in first through fifth grades, but Isabella got involved when she was in kindergarten and has continued to enjoy showing up weekly at 8 a.m. for a 40-minute session before school starts for the day.
“I really like Computer Club,” Isabella said. “I like how you can explore new websites and learn how to use new things. I learned how to use Excel, so now I can make charts quickly.”
Barbara Rebecca, the Butler Elementary District 53 technology director, who sponsors the club along with fourth-grade teacher Eileen Kadon, said the club has continued to grow more popular.
“The kids really enjoy having the opportunity to come in and learn new things and have the opportunity to work with other kids,” Rebecca said. “This is an opportunity for total engaged learning. And the computer is such a wonderful tool for exploration.”
That exploration is a focus of the club, Rebecca said.
“We try to encourage kids to go to different websites and really explore what’s out there,” she said. “It teaches them independent thinking, and while it does also help them with their school work, they have the chance to do things that have nothing to do with the curriculum.”
Fourth-grader Adi Badlani has been coming to meetings since first grade.
“I thought it would be a fun thing to do, and it is,” he said. “You can do whatever you want and learn while you’re having fun.”
Fourth-grader RJ Burjek said he particularly enjoys playing strategy games on the computer.
“It’s fun to come to Computer Club and have a chance to do that,” he said. “And it’s better to do it here because you can play games with others, and some of my friends are here.”