November 10, 2014 by HCDE Communications
Afterschool programs provide enrichment activities that develop students’ academic and social skills. Students who lack adult supervision or learning opportunities from 3-6 p.m. gain a safe, structured environment to develop and learn new skills.
The best afterschool programs support regular school day learning and help prepare our children for success. Organizers work closely with schools and teachers to produce activities that enhance and complement school-day activities, all while engaging student interests and needs.
Tips to help you enhance your afterschool programs:
- Develop a solid vision for your program. Effectively articulating the purpose and outcome of the program is the key to attracting families and supporters.
- Provide enriching activities youth can participate in. Include activities that develop leadership and decision-making skills. Familiarize yourself with available curriculum and activities and identify local training opportunities to gain the knowledge and resources to better serve school-age kids.
- Plan and share professional meetings and training with local school districts. Sharing can maximize resources and help develop positive outgrowth and collaboration.
- Invite community-based and volunteer organizations from places like museums, food banks, libraries and colleges to share their programs with your students.
- Create a mentorship program with a local high school, business, or community organization to offer guidance and support to the students.
- Search for information on federal, state or local funds that support afterschool programs. Funding can help strengthen the quality of the afterschool program.
- Evaluate your program. You should collect information from both internal and external sources like your staff, students and parents. Apply the results to the continuous improvement of your program. Examples of evaluation methods include surveys, focus groups, and questionnaires.
After-school programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning for our youth. To learn more about how to effectively implement your afterschool program or to find funding opportunities, visit http://www.afterschoolzone.org.
About the Blogger:
Dr. Lisa M. Thompson-Caruthers serves as director for the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Expanded Learning, or CASE for Kids. CASE for Kids provides leadership, training, technical support and grants management to over 70 afterschool programs serving over 8,000 youth. In her leisure time, Lisa spends time with her hubby and children mastering her social work “active listening” skills and honing her artistic talents. These include building monster trucks and princess carriages out of Legos.