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After-school mentorship program offers many lessons

Club Xcite in second year on campus

No matter the weather in these winter days, there is a group of elementary-age students at The Children’s School that couldn’t care less.

They are too busy building catapults.

With zeal, the preschool through second-graders glue wooden stirrers and plastic spoons together as part of their after-school robotics class.

Very Xciting.

“That’s kind of what we are,” said Stefan Hochfilzer, founder of the after-school program known as Club Xcite. “We’re young and exciting, fun people, and that’s what we give to the kids and that’s what the kids want.”

Started in 2004, Club Xcite teaches a variety of sports to go along with robotics. The mentoring program got its first shot at success in Sorrento Valley, eventually expanding to seven schools. It opened at The Children’s School two years ago.

“It’s a long day for kids being inside, and I think being in San Diego we can be outside a lot of the time,” said Rachel Ridgeway, activities director at the school, adding that sports classes offered in regular school hours often fill up quickly.

Since expanding to include the middle school years, Ridgeway also said a lot of the physical education classes are now focused on competitive sports. For the youngsters, that can be a little much. Club Xcite is more interested in taking pleasure in the activity.

“It’s less about like ‘Oh let me teach you how to do a perfect pass or teach you how to hold your form,’ ” Hochfilzer said. “It’s about enjoying the sport, learning some basic skills so that they can be successful in P.E. classes when they’re older or when they’re starting on teams.”

The program offers classes in 10-week periods at a cost of generally $295. In addition to robotics, there are after-school clubs in tennis, martial arts and a variety of sports for those just starting to learn.

For more information about Club Xcite, call (858) 779-9674.