Children should be encouraged to explore their interests as soon as their school activity is over. Thankfully, after-school activities provide educational enrichment and actively support the child’s life. The Village Method is a provider of culturally affirming after-school programming. We are here to emphasize the importance of high-quality education, inside and outside the walls of schools.
As we all know, the pandemic impacted families and communities alike. Furthermore, it created an unprecedented demand for either in-person or remote after-school activities. As families and teachers were pushed to come together and overcome the global challenge, family engagement also took a step forward.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how after-school activities can boost your child’s chances for academic excellence. Read on!
The Search for High-Quality After-School Programs
What makes one after-school program better than all others? The multitude of after-school programs that are currently available out there could easily confuse students and their parents. If you are looking for after-school activities, here are a few aspects you should consider.
Firstly, students and their parents must be encouraged to take part in family engagement activities. They must be motivated enough to spend after-school hours alongside a community of people they can relate to. Lastly, the after-school activities themselves must prioritize child development, critical thinking, and address educational inequity right from the start.
Remember, a truly great after-school activity will actively seek to accommodate the students according to their unique, cultural backgrounds. That is how a kid will understand how vital it is to belong to a community. This is how academic excellence is achieved ━ by connecting our youth to their roots and letting them know that they are indeed valued.
Create Opportunity for College and Career Readiness
An excellent after-school program will aim to gradually build on pre-existing skills, from early childhood education all the way to middle school, then finally, to high school. Educational inequity starts the moment our children fail to be seen, heard, and understood.
First-generation college students have it the hardest. The expectations are high and the resources are, for the most part, on the low side. After-school activities create necessary cultural pipelines. With the help of caring adults, awesome family engagement activities, and Social and Emotional Learning skills, our kids will naturally aspire for academic excellence and bask in its benefits.
During the course of the K-12 years, after-school programs play a crucial part in the cognitive, emotional, and psychological development of our children. Their chances to get into their desired colleges increase whenever after-school opportunities are present. What kids need is the support of culturally responsive and affirming after-school activities.
School-Parent Relationships and Family Engagement Activities
According to Learning Heroes’ national survey, the pandemic brought family engagement activities to the very forefront of their children’s education. Before, the parent was quite literally kept in the dark regarding their child’s achievement. In fact, since 2020, parents want to spend time helping with homework and are keen to provide enrichment to their children’s learning capabilities.
Most kids need better family engagement activities in order to improve their learning skills and overall achievement levels. The road towards academic excellence relies on the schools’ willingness to implement and nurture culturally respectful family engagement activities.
We highly recommend that you check out the book titled ‘A Cord of Three Strands: A New Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools’ by Soo Hong. Its focus on low-income children and their need for parental engagement will prove useful in the process of dismantling educational inequity.
Academic Excellence and Social and Emotional Learning
While attending after-school activities, kids need to make new friends, have fun, and explore some of the most popular topics. In order for them to have a smooth journey to college, parents need to seek after-school programs that address their Social and Emotional Learning capabilities.
Academic excellence starts to take shape when we prioritize emotional and social skills. Kids need to develop healthy attitudes about themselves and the world they’re living in. They must explore their empathetic side and learn how to co-exist with other children.
When searching for after-school activities for your child, make sure that Social and Emotional Learning is recognized as a valuable tool for children of all ages. It is elementary to aim for academic excellence in a creative manner that nurtures the well-being of the child.
Research has shown time and time again that Social and Emotional Learning improves academic achievement and has long-term effects that are tangible on a global scale. Social and Emotional Learning is a fundamental part of after-school programs that aim to help their attendants succeed in life.
Can After-School Activities Ensure Academic Excellence?
Yes, they can. After-school programs must ensure that they always provide their attendants with valuable family engagement activities. Social and Emotional Learning must also be the pinnacle of after-school education.
More so, the young ones should engage in meaningful, culturally relevant after-school activities that will, in time, bring out the sense of personal empowerment and pride. All children that belong to minorities deserve to be acknowledged. After-school activities are here to bring a resolution to our nation’s long-standing educational inequity.
The Village Method is more than just another after-school program. Together, we have the power to build villages of happy, empowered children. Join our fight for equity by getting involved now!