As a working parent, finding a good before and after school program can be challenging. Parents need programs that go beyond helping children with their homework. They need programs that support their children in their educational endeavours, teaching problem-solving skills, and building up a child’s confidence, resilience and desire to learn even more. Good before and after-school programs support children through their ambitions, from helping them start a drama club, to taking them through their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)journey. Regardless of where a child’s talents take them, before and after-school programs are designed to create supportive environments and communities. Ultimately, a good before and after-school program will promote a child’s education as well as their mental health. KLKN TV discusses the importance of before and after-school programs, pointing out that they are more than just daycare programs.
The school term is in its early stages and many parents are still looking for before and after-school programs. One driving factor is that a parent’s work schedule does not always agree with their child’s schedule. So on a basic level, many parents just want a daycare solution for their children. Yet, as KLKN TV points out, before and after-school programs are more than just daycare programs.
In the past, before and after-school programs were nothing more than indoor recess. Over the years, these programs have evolved in depth and sophistication, meeting needs which many parents did not even know they had. For example, the Lincoln Community Learning Centre, featured by KLKN TV, has evolved into a program stretching across 29 campuses, each campus having its own specific and well designed educational plan.
The Lincoln Community Learning Centre ensures that each campus meets the particular needs of the area that it is located in. So, one campus is only an example of what the centre can be, but because the centre tries to respond creatively to each campus area’s needs, there are 29 different iterations of the centre.
The centre focuses on STEM skills, but they also develop reading as well as social skills, while trying to remain fun and to use games to spur learning.
A Randolph Elementary 5th grader interviewed by KLKN TV, Elena Noelle Quiroz, describes her typical morning, saying she usually did crafts and that the centre had many fun activities. She also said they had a snack, and went outside for a 20-minute recess.
Before and after-school programs are more than just daycare programs. They exist to meet educational needs, build problem-solving skills, teach children to work cooperatively together, and to have the right self-esteem to feel they can tackle academic and social problems. They also enrich the learning experience by providing lots of fun things to do with kids. Programs like these extend and build upon the work of normal school and offer things that normal schools simply do not have the capacity to offer.
Children in before and after-school programs often get advanced and early exposure to things like LEGO robotics projects. This is a cool way to teach engineering principles and to have children cooperate to build something. The experience of going to a before and after-school program is such that even with masks on, it’s possible to discern smiles on the faces of children.