Family engagement has a life-long impact on the lives of children and comes in many forms. As professionals in the field of afterschool and expanded learning, it is important to remember that even though we may not see a child's family at school or a program, this does not mean they are not engaged in the lives of their children. With that in mind, we need to actively build strong engagement with families when they can come to the school or program.
Scholastic 3-D Archery (S3DA) provides 3-D and indoor archery opportunities for youth in afterschool settings, in addition to archery-affiliated clubs and businesses in their communities. S3DA places special emphasis on archery education and wildlife conservation.
Is Program Quality Enough?
Year after year, we're amazed by those who think outside the box to enrich kids' lives. Notions of what camp can be—or how an instructor can teach—keep expanding, thanks to the creative leadership and outstanding programs launched by these passionate, caring individuals.
Theory and research evidence support the common-sense notion that children and youth need nature, and nature needs them. Spending time outdoors, specifically in natural environments (woods, lakes, rivers, beaches, naturalized school grounds, parks and trails), is associated with positive health, mental health, educational and social-emotional learning outcomes.
The school-year is ending, and thoughts have turned to summer. When I look back on my time at summer camp, I recall very specific experiences—learning to fold and care for the American flag; hitting my first full canter astride a horse; learning sign language; pouring lye down the outhouse privy; synchronized swimming in the pond; singing silly songs around a campfire; peaceful devotions under a pine tree canopy; maybe even a few preteen crushes.
EZChildTrack is a comprehensive online child care software with automated billing/payment, parent portal, site access and multiple attendance options. With EZChildTrack, program directors, site coordinators, staff members can manage operations from a single system.
As afterschool professionals, you know it is crucial that federal STEM education policies integrate informal STEM programs. The STEM Education Coalition has released the report The Case for Investing in Out-of-School Learning as a Core Strategy in Improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, which speaks to the importance of informal STEM learning and contains policy recommendations.
Spring has sprung! The days are getting longer, and the weather is getting brighter. It's great to play and learn outside. Unfortunately, time spent outdoors is becoming a rare commodity for our young people. Full disclosure: I may be old. I grew up in the '70s and '80s—and back then, playing meant playing outside.