Professional Development

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Quality Afterschool Programs Are Key to Student Success

Like most of today's educators, Peter Barclay believes in a fine balance between having fun and learning.

If a lesson is done right, Barclay said kids can walk away energized as well as educated.

Creativity, he said, is the key.

Barclay is part of PwrHrs, a series of K-12 afterschool and summertime programs that has shown remarkable success through a partnership between YouthPower365, a nonprofit organization, and the Eagle County School District in the rural area of Vail, Colorado.

"These aren't just programs where kids go somewhere after school, mess around and play games," said Colorado State University researcher and associate professor Nathaniel Riggs. "They are created to promote academic achievement."

During a typical weekday afternoon, PwrHrs kids spend an engaging hour focusing on math, literacy or science skills in entertaining ways. The next hour of enrichment is dedicated to exercise and emotional growth, with activities ranging from playing soccer to singing karaoke to cooking a recipe.

The PwrHrs combined academic and enrichment approach is working. Teachers report that students are more able to pay attention and concentrate on tasks in class and PwrHrs students show improvement in math and literacy scores.

In fact, Eagle County has been so successful that organizers are now ready to share their methods and findings at the PwrHrs Extended Learning Conference, scheduled for November 7 through 9, 2018, in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Learn more and register for the PwrHrs Extended Learning Conference.

Courtesy of Vail Valley.


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