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5 School Programs to Start in the New Year

After school program activities are popular for many reasons. First, they allow busy parents to leave their kids in a proactive environment where they can be productive. Second, they allow children to be exposed to more things; providing some great learning and growth opportunities. With the new year coming up, it’s a great time to amp up your after school programs, so your momentum follows into the next school year. Here are some ideas to make your after school program activities as great as they can be.

 

Sustainability

With sustainability being a major focus these days, there are many potential activities that boost awareness and help in your community’s efforts. First, teaching your students about the importance of sustainability can help them understand the detriments of global warming. Once the awareness is there, different activities can help drive home how to reduce ecological footprints. Check out the Green Schools Revolution for lots of information for teachers and parents.

 

Little Makers

The maker movement is in full swing and TIME Magazine even has an article on why this movement is important to America’s future. Activities that engage students’ interests in science, technology, engineering, math and the arts can help these children for years to come. A lot of what can be done in these programs depends on your - and ultimately the parents’ - budget. Learning how to build rockets, craft ceramics, leather working, and using 3D printers, all have varying costs. You’ll definitely have to be mindful of the budget people can spend but these programs should prove to be an effective after school program activity, especially when marketed towards the maker movement. For more info, check out these unique maker education resources for teaching and learning.

 

Coding

With technology permeating through all areas of our lives, being fluent in basic coding can help empower many of us to help understand the technologies we often take for granted. Additionally, this empowerment can lead to more jobs through technological opportunities. As jobs and recreational activities become more technologically advanced, it can be a great idea to teach children the basics of coding early.

 

Code.org - a computer science education nonprofit - has teamed up with Mark Zuckerberg to help teach everyone how to code. Utilize their website and all of their resources, to provide a coding workshop as one of your after school program activities. If you facility has a computer lab or participants have access to laptops, this can be low cost, high impact event. Consider even hosting an “Hour of Code” event, to involved your local community.

 

Academic Help

Getting help with homework is a great part of many after school programs. Think about hiring some staff with tutoring experience. Raising the academic bar at your after school program can help bring in more kids, as parents start to realize their children are improving their grades and schoolwork.

 

Active Living

As parks and recreation professionals or gym teachers, this part usually comes second nature. Not only do physical activities help kids with their physical health, they also make them better learners. Active Living Research has a great infographic on how active kids learn better. Providing a wealth of physical activity opportunities in your after school program activities is highly recommended.

 

For some ideas on extracurricular activities for high school students, check out this past blog post. Need some help in organization, streamlining and growing your after school programs? PerfectMind’s enterprise software features can help your organization save time and money, while increasing your community’s engagement.

 

What after school programs does your organization or facility run? Let us know on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your PerfectMind news.

Whitney Donaldson
Whitney Donaldson

Whitney is the Marketing and Events Coordinator for PerfectMind. She brings four years of marketing and communications experience with a focus in the digital media and technology industries. She has a Marketing Management Certificate from BCIT and an English Literature degree from the University of Victoria. She is an avid runner and swimmer, and enjoys spending her free time outdoors. She is motivated by a good cup of coffee, and conversations that convert a great idea into a reality.

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