One of my 2-year-old daughter's favorite activities is playing with blocks. She enjoys exploring their shape and texture as well as sorting them by color and size. Her ultimate fun is tower-building. Since her ability to stack began to bud, she's spent countless hours stacking and stacking, working her hardest to build an ever-taller tower. As she stacks blocks on top of one another, I can see the range of emotions crossing her face and, when each tower ultimately comes crashing down, these feelings, particularly frustration, are often magnified.
Over the past 10 years there has been a focused and well-researched shift for STEM education to be based on hands-on, inquiry-type activities. The afterschool environment is perfect for implementing these types of activities.
Technology has had a huge impact on today's employment landscape. One of the key changes is the increasing necessity to be able to work as part of a team.
"Pop Music tells you everything's OK, while rock music tells you that it is not OK, but you change it."
This past summer, members of the National AfterSchool Association spent time with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other organizations in Ireland as part of their annual International Learning Exchange.
In a world where technology has shortened the distance between people, it's critical for children to develop interpersonal skills. Communication skills are essential to high achievement in academic pursuits, and are essential to a productive and fulfilling career.