October 26th is the 24th Annual #LightsOnAfterschool with over one million afterschool champions showcasing how afterschool programs serve our communities. kid-grit joined, in partnership, the Afterschool Alliance this year to support the field with a free resource and by sharing the light (bulb).
My first experience with afterschool was in undergrad as a 3-5th grade teacher at a brand new program that opened in Houston, TX. It was exciting to be part of the inaugural year of something so fun and rewarding… even if one of my students shattered a window with a backpack on the very first day. Don’t worry, it all went uphill from there! If you know, you know!
I was able to continue growing my relationships with several families after the school year was over. During the summer, I had the opportunity to care for my afterschool students one on one and become part of their family unit… field trips to museums and libraries, swimming, walks to the park to practice baseball, craft projects that took up the entire kitchen, and even weekend trips to the beach. But it wasn’t all just fun. We were learning as well. As a young adult, I was entrusted to help my students combat summer learning loss. The parents saw the value in keeping their children engaged not just afterschool but during the long summer days as well.
This year, join us in celebrating #LightsOnAfterschool! Please meet and enjoy reading about a few of our out-of- school time partners who are running kid-grit the Curriculum at their sites.
We invited the Boys & Girls Club of Moorpark & Simi Valley in California to share what they love about their afterschool program, what they learn and how kid-grit is helping them with vital skills like growth mindset, self-esteem and gratitude. These upper excited, elementary students have a lot to say! Go ahead, zoom in!
Our second contributor is an afterschool program out of Nebraska, called Lincoln Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is an accredited After-School Program that offers middle and high school aged-youth academic support, evening meals and enrichment/recreational activities during non-school hours, Monday through Friday, twelve months a year. It is vitally important for youth to have a safe harbor during the high risk, after-school hours. Their goal is to increase the likelihood of high school graduation of middle and high school-aged youth by providing high quality programming.
One of our focuses with this group is workforce readiness through the using the activities in the kid-grit SEL Curriculum. See how they share their love for their program and the value it brings them.
(This infographic was created and sent to us by the high school students at Lincoln Lighthouse!)
Even more so today, parents recognize the value afterschool programs provide for their children. America’s After 3 PM’s most recent survey says it all.
At the heart of afterschool are the relationships. The staff are providing a space for healthy human development. That space may look fun, loud, colorful and crazy, but there are powerful things happening among all the laughter and smiles.
kid-grit’s mission to equip educators and students with tools for healthy development includes building confidence, character, resilience and self-care. We support the time and energy that is devoted to preparing our youth for the world and their future. How are you celebrating your state’s afterschool programs this year?