Elementary After School Community Design Lab

After-school care that instills confidence and cultivates ingenuity.

Our After-school Community Design Lab Programs engage students in academics, critical thinking and innovation through principles of art and design, community enrichment, culture and movement. We offer programming for grades K-5 with programming housed at local Asheville Elementary schools.  Join us as we re-invent after-school!

What We’re all About

An after-school program of Roots + Wings School of Art and Design, the Community Design Lab adheres to a process-based education model. Students attending our after-school programs will gain the skills and knowledge to implement a wide variety of student-led artistic projects. The Community Design Lab also builds on academic skills from the classroom—mathematics, history, science—and helps apply those skills to real life. Our project-driven curriculum provides a unique alternative to conventional classroom learning. We work with students to learn about various creative disciplines as well as what is beyond the walls of their schools; teaching students how to find better, collective solutions to community problems through creative experimentation. We believe in problem-solving starts with listening and understanding.

Community Engagement
Community engagement is another cornerstone of our programs. Engaging in community projects or connecting with neighborhood history builds social capital and pride for our communal spaces, along with leadership and civic responsibility. Aside from exposing our students to a variety of creative disciplines (visual art, design, writing, etc), we hope to engage students on public murals, playground and bus shelter designs, and other beautification projects that help improve where we live.

We value collaborating with other local community organizations and institutions – believing that these partnerships build stronger and more successful programing for the children and families we are honored to work with. We give thanks to  local universities and colleges, the Asheville Design Center, and our local host schools.

Personal Growth
With assistance from volunteers, our instructors lead the programs each day, supervising the students from snack and outdoor time through Innovation Hour to homework and free time. Along with our instructors, guest specialists visit throughout the year to help lead the daily Innovation Hour, providing community exposure for the students.


After school hours are a critical time in a students day. After school programs can change lives and heal a community. Learn more about the power of transformational after school care in the Wallace Foundation video:



Write to us below to ask specific questions or find out more about enrolling your student.
We will get back to you as soon as possible!

Name *