Hi! Thank you for checking back with me this week. Today I am going to look closer at the after school programs and what are some of the problems educators face (beside funding).
After school programs are at the core of ELO Programs. However, the ongoing debate that many educators face today is what the after-school programs should look like. So educators advise that the programs should reflect core academic subjects and aid students in improving their math, science, and academic skills by providing homework help, and engaging students in activities that reflect these academic values. On the other side, the argument made is that kids should be allowed a break from school and academic work and should get to explore their hobbies, such as, playing sports, drawing, reading, etc. This is further explored in my previous blog in which I said that kids should get a chance to explore things outside the classroom and learn skills and experience things that a classroom setting does not provide for.
The question to ask at this point is what is the primary goal of after-school programs. If it is to even the playing field for kids who do not have the opportunity to take advantage of private tutoring and help outside the classroom, then we should allow for the more academic programs. On the other hand, if it is to expand a child’s knowledge and give kids experiences that a school cannot provide, then we should focus on allowing kids to pursue their hobbies and explore different areas. The ELO Program outlines that its purpose is to do both. However, it is hard to find a balance between the two.
On a side note, I have started working as an After-School Camp Counselor. This helps me explore the after-school programs directly. I believe that this debate would aid in what activities we do with the kids in the after-school program. Right now, at my organization, there is more of an emphasis on doing things outside of the academic sphere, and allowing kids to draw, play games, and socialize. However, if kids may choose, they can also do homework during the time. Although, right now, kids that chose to spend this after-school time doing homework do not get the right staff to tutor them and help them with their homework. So if these programs were to decrease how money plays a role in learning, they would need to hire trained staff to aid kids in homework.
What do you think the primary goal for after school programs are and why?