CASE for Kids seeks creative candidates for afterschool programs

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July 29, 2021 by HCDE-Texas

The Harris County Department of Education Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids (CASE for Kids) hosted an interview fair Tuesday to fill open grant-funded positions for its 2021-2022 afterschool programs. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., staff reviewed the qualifications of several applicants with confirmed appointments in addition to walk-ins.

This week’s interview fair is the first of two, the second of which is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 5, to fill 30-50 part-time positions in which employees will work directly with students. Applicants participated in a typical interview session followed by an activity-based evaluation. Each applicant received a set of instructions and a few items with which they planned and presented a five-minute lesson. Interviewers scored the candidates on the age-appropriateness, active engagement, and creativity of their presentations.

“Most of the kids we’re working with on this grant are older—sixth grade up to high school,” said CASE for Kids Assistant Director Trina Finley. “So, we need to make sure the folks we bring on can think outside the box and get creative with the materials they have.”

In addition to the part-time positions, CASE for Kids seeks two full-time regional program coordinators and eight project coordinators to manage the daily operations of the afterschool programs at its 10 partner campuses in school districts across Harris County. These campuses include two elementary schools, six middle schools, one high school, and one charter school serving sixth through tenth-grade students.

The positions are funded by the five-year, 2021-2022 Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Texas ACE Cycle 11 grant. CASE for Kids applied for the grant in January and received its full ask of $1.5 million. While the division also received funding from all the previous 21st CCLC cycles, Cycle 11 lends new opportunities.

“This grant will be different for us because we are hiring the site coordinators this time,” said CASE for Kids Assistant Director Jesselyn Arceneaux. “Normally, our district partners listed on the grant application hire the site coordinators, and we award those districts funds to pay them. We’re excited to bring them on and load them up with training.”

Site coordinators work closely with each campus’ administration to ensure their afterschool programs are fully operational and aim for the full potential of afterschool enrichment.

Cycle 11 also allows CASE for Kids to award each of its 10 afterschool campus partners roughly $40,000 to hire teachers for tutorial services.

“Academic assistance is going to be a big deal for all of our campuses due to COVID-19 [setbacks],” she said. “A lot of our campuses are really concerned about learning loss and are using tutorials to help remedy some of that [loss].”

Arceneaux further explained CASE for Kids’ efforts to supplement tutorials and expand its reach through this year’s afterschool programs.

“The program itself will [supplement] whatever the campus has established with their tutorials and try to add new enrichment opportunities for the students,” she said. “CASE is trying to do a lot of project-based learning so that the kids can create something they can talk about with their friends, their communities, and people within their schools.”

For more information about CASE for Kids, visit hcde-texas.org/afterschoolzone.

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