Afterschool programs: a video journey
The best afterschool programs offer a wide variety of activities, and a choice for students, so that they can pursue their interests in a setting that also addresses their developmental and educational needs. Here are some examples of the types of activities you'll find in quality programs.
|Here, students and teachers from programs around the country talk about enrichment and arts activities offered in their afterschool programs, and the results these activities yield.
|For students, an academic environment that is supportive, individualized, and exciting helps them do better in school while they explore new interests and discover new talents and skills.
|16-year-old LaRae Reagan's experience as a peer leader in the
Green Teen internship program, helping teens and younger kids learn about
ecology and recycling at the Children's Museum of Manhattan.
|Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino (re-elected for a second term in 1997) talks about the special, individualized attention afterschool staff can provide, supporting efforts by school-day teachers and enriching each student's learning opportunities.|
Afterschool programs: descriptions
Afterschool programs are at work in urban and suburban settings, rural areas -- in short -- wherever there are students and wherever there's a need. Here are a few programs you might want to look at for inspiration, or as models as you begin to design the right afterschool program for your community.
Virtual Y, New York, New York
In partnership with the New York City Board of Education and the United Way of New York City, the YMCA in New York is working to bring extended school services to 10,000 public school children by turning 200 of the city's public schools into Virtual Y's from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. after school each day. At each Virtual Y,
50 second-, third-, and fourth-graders take part in the Y's traditional curriculum, the spirit-mind-body triangle. The intent of this curriculum is to build strong values, enhance education, improve academic performance, and promote healthy lifestyles -- with reading as the "golden thread" woven throughout to meet the national goal of helping all children learn to read well and independently by the end of third grade. The Virtual Y Book Club, which provides books and incentives for reading, is just one of many literacy-building activities in which children take part.
Families, schools, and the community -- the second Y triangle--work together to make the Virtual Y program happen. To ensure collaboration between all partners, principals first apply to become a Virtual Y school and make several commitments in this application. These commitments include agreeing to provide security and use of classrooms, gyms, libraries and other facilities during program hours, designating a liaison between the YMCA and the school, and acquiring approval from the PTA, superintendent, and teacher union. Family involvement is also key. On a day-to-day basis, the Virtual Y maximizes resources by using a mixture of full- and part-time professionals and volunteers (including college work-study students, AmeriCorps volunteers, and high school students involved in service learning) and by garnering funds and in-kind contributions from an array of public and private sources. Find out more about the Virtual Y at http://ymcanyc.org/programs.
Michigan: KLICK! (Kids Learning in Computer Klubhouses)
A consortium of nine urban and rural Michigan school districts with support from the College of Education at Michigan State University has established a virtual network of ten middle school computer clubhouses. KLICK! is part of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the nationwide program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the C.S. Mott Foundation.
Through activities such as state-wide Web forums, community service work, and Web-page development, KLICK! students are having meaningful experiences with technology-rich environments. The extra-curricular clubhouses enable at-risk students to engage in authentic learning opportunities through the use of computers and computer-related technology. Through the clubhouses, middle school students become a helpful technology resource for all facets of their communities, including senior citizens, service organizations, and others in need of their services. The clubhouses provide safe environments that break down the barriers of isolation imposed by poverty, distance, and age.
Marshalltown, Iowa: A Rural Pioneer
The Caring Connection 21st Century Community Learning Centers provide before and after school, weekend, and summer programming in two middle schools in Marshalltown--a rural community in central Iowa. Marshalltown was the first school district in Iowa to be included in the program and is widely regarded as a pioneer, with representatives from other school districts coming to learn more about the program. Activities are organized into seven components: recreation, literacy intervention, tutoring and homework support, applied academic units, substance abuse and violence prevention, outreach through family development, and adult education programming. Family members can take advantage of such courses as GED preparation (in English and Spanish), Family Finances, Computers for Families, and Family Spanish.
The Middle Level Literacy Intervention assists students who are reading below grade level as identified by test scores, teacher recommendations, or parent requests. With the program just a year old, teachers and administrators are already noticing improvement in students' work.
Community Collaboration for Education Enrichment (CCEE)
YMCA of San Antonio & The Hill Country, Hawthorne Elementary School,
San Antonio, Texas
The CCEE model blends the resources, expertise, and services of the YMCA, numerous local youth service agencies, the public schools, and the community to deliver services to at-risk youth and their families. The YMCA, the local school districts, the City of San Antonio, the Texas Education Agency, numerous local foundations, and federal funding come together to support and maintain services. CCEE is based on the philosophy that the neighborhood school is the focal point of the community, reflecting the community's values and answering its needs. Program services are based on consultation with school faculty, collaborative partners, students, parents, and community leaders.
At the Hawthorne Elementary School Campus, YMCA collaboration with the community has been key to the success of the program. The staff nurtures and maintains partnerships with corporations, neighborhood businesses, universities, and human service agencies in delivering services to children and their families. With a permanent office within the school building, the program is staffed by a YMCA program director, aides, support staff, interns, parents, and volunteers. YMCA staff members attend school-day staff meetings to coordinate curriculum and activities. The collaboration between school-day and YMCA staff has created a seamless system where activities throughout the day adhere to a core knowledge curriculum designed by Trinity University. [From SAFE AND SMART, MAKING AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS WORK FOR KIDS. U.S. Department of Education, 2000]
To find out more detail about the CCEE program, take a look below at the Program Examples section of this workshop.
Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP), New Haven, Connecticut
LEAP is a year-round academic and social enrichment program for nearly 1,200 urban children ages 7-14 in five cities in Connecticut: New Haven, Hartford, New London, Waterbury, and Bridgeport. LEAP is specifically designed to improve the academic and social circumstances of children ages 7-14, as well as of the teens and young adults ages 16-25 who serve as counselors and are intensively trained as mentors and tutors. As part of LEAP's multitiered mentoring system, the counselors are themselves mentored to improve their academic performance, graduate from high school and attend college.
During the school year, afterschool programs run from 3 to 6:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday, with Friday as full-day staff development days. Programs are both school- and community-based. A typical afternoon during the academic year begins with homework club, which maintains a ratio of four children per counselor. This is followed by DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) Time where counselors plan activities to engage children in reading for enjoyment and enrichment. During the last two hours of the program, eight children and two counselors rotate through a schedule of weekly activities that include educational activities (for example, read-alouds and journal writing), resource activities (for example, workshops at museums, science and art centers) and site-based initiatives (for example, arts and crafts, athletics, leadership, personal exploration). During the summer, college student counselors help to provide summer programming. [From SAFE AND SMART, MAKING AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS WORK FOR KIDS. U.S. Department of Education, 2000]
Kids Spending the Summer Learning About Government
Check out the Web-game developed by fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders from St. Louis, Missouri's 21st Century Community Learning Centers. The game is for kids and by kids, and its goal is to increase understanding of the role of the individual in solving neighborhood and community problems. Visit the St. Louis Connections for Youth site and discover what these St. Louis kids learned about government, problem-solving, and Web design.
Around the country, growing numbers of afterschool programs strive to integrate school-day and afterschool curricula. By taking this approach, students have a rich opportunity to explore additional facets of what they are learning, to make more broad connections, and to see the relationship between classroom work and the world at large.
P.S. 5, New York, New York
Before- and afterschool activities have been a part of P.S. 5 from its opening day as a community school. Half of the students at P.S. 5 participate in the breakfast program, which begins at 7:30 a.m. The extended day program organizes students by classes, and the daily schedule includes academics and homework help, fine arts, gym, dramatics, and recreation. The Broadway Theater Institute helps children put on musicals. Teachers in the extended day program communicate daily with regular teachers about homework and special help that students may need. Parents serve as assistants in the program, and over 300 adults participate in the Adult Education program, which offers classes in English as a second language, GED preparation, literacy, and arts and crafts. Students and families also have access to physical and mental health services and an on-site Head Start program.
Proyecto Sano y Salvo (Project Safe and Sound), 21st CCLC, Tucson, Arizona
With a 21st CCLC grant, Proyecto Sano y Salvo opened its doors in September 1998 at three Tucson, Arizona middle schools. Each middle school has an advisory committee composed of teachers, school administrators, parents and community members who collaborate to design afterschool enrichment courses that are aligned with the school's core curriculum. The afterschool programs are open five days a week from the end of the school day until 6:30 p.m. and at least one Saturday a month for family activities. Each program has an afterschool coordinator with courses taught by teachers, community members, and students from the University of Arizona and Pima Community College. The colleges also provide tutors.
During an afternoon, youth have the opportunity to choose from a number of courses focused on math and science, fine arts, computer technology and social development. Examples of courses include a science-based curriculum designed by the University of Arizona; Boot Camp provided by officers from the Davis Monthan Air Force Base that teaches youth respect, discipline, physical conditioning, social awareness and teamwork; and a class in African American Studies offered by the Tucson Urban League. Afterschool students have also built model airplanes, a model biosphere, learned about automobiles, and solved a crime using DNA. [From SAFE AND SMART, MAKING AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS WORK FOR KIDS. U.S. Department of Education, 2000]
The Heritage School, New York, New York
The Heritage School, founded in 1997, is a public high school that is a collaboration between Teachers College, Columbia University and the New York City Board of Education. The School is located within the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, in the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center at 106th Street and Lexington Avenue. The Heritage School's mission is to integrate the arts into a traditional academic curriculum.
In 1998, the Heritage School was awarded a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) programs. The 21st CCLC funding established programs and collaborations with community organizations serving Heritage students, parents and community
members, and helped to attract more support from funders. In the spring of 2000, The Afterschool Corporation (TASC) awarded an additional grant that made it possible to serve the School's expanding population. As a result, the Heritage Extended Day Program is able to offer activities including Community Arts Programs, Study Skills, Computer Lab, Video Production, Martial Arts, Dance, Playwriting, Latin Jazz Band, Internships, College and Career Counseling and special programs and events held for parents and families. Programs operate until after 5:30pm, offering students enriching activities and a safe haven after school.
|Here are some Heritage School students involved in some extended day program activities: karate and jazz band.
To find out more about the Heritage School program, take a look below at the Program examples.
In order to present a closer look at the schedules and activities of individual afterschool programs, we have selected two exemplary programs to highlight.
Hawthorne Campus YMCA Community Collaboration for Educational Enrichment
The Heritage School
Judith Burton, Chair of the Art and Art Education Department at Teachers College, Columbia University, talks about her initial vision for The Heritage School.
Now that you have a sense of what afterschool programs can be like, move on to Exploration, where you will examine the various factors involved in setting up and maintaining a quality program.