With the school year well underway, here at Flex we’ve been getting busy too. We’re excited for new students and parents to get involved with our afterschool programs and for new vendors to begin engaging kids with their great programs. Over the summer, we’ve been getting ready to deliver an even better experience for kids, parents and vendors everywhere. We also did a little bit of looking back on our successes and areas needing improvement from last year. One thing we kept coming up while reading emails from parents and vendors is the common thread of enrichment that afterschool programs provides for kids. Traditionally, the options following the school bell have been limited. If a student happens to be interested in sports, music or one of the select programs that a school provides after regular hours, he or she is in luck. If they aren’t interested, there aren’t many other options or they’re encouraged to “participate.”
Here at Flex, we pride ourselves in being part of a movement that is changing the fabric of how students’ lives are impacted after the school bell rings. By working with vendors who are the best at what they do from a diverse range of backgrounds and skill-sets, we’ve been providing students with a wider range of engaging and fun activities for kids with all kinds of interests. What we’ve seen is students that are excited about participating and growing together. here are four areas that we think a diversified afterschool programs helps to enrich a student’s life.
Expert program direction increases quality. One of the most celebrated aspects of a Flex Academies afterschool program is our vendors. They’re Flex’s right hand and the most important component of what makes us great. Parents often tell us that knowing their kids are being guided by experts in their field is reassuring. Our yoga class teachers are yoga instructors during the school hours. Our cooking class instructors teach classes throughout the community; not just in schools. This provides a higher quality experience to a student and helps them to learn the best ways to pursue their interests
Diversified solutions increase engagement. In todays world, the avenues to find success are much more diverse than what they once were. The internet has helped to spread these ideas and an entrepreneurial culture encourages them. If students are exposed to different courses, classes and ideas at a younger age, their opportunities to realize their passions and pick up and run with them are improved. With afterschool programs like Flex Academies, the range and depth of available programs are always increasing, providing ever-growing ways for kids to go all-in.
Kids feel free to express themselves. As stated above, not every student finds their muse on the baseball field. For some, it may be the cooking class, for others it may be in a science lab. With access to alternative opportunities to explore, the doors to creativity are opened and students are more likely to find enjoyment and even success in what they are doing.
Learning together improves sociability. It’s not everyday that students have the option of taking a cooking class, learning web development or playing hockey, all under one roof. This is just one example of the range of classes afterschool programs provide. By uniting kids together to learn a diverse range of skills, kids grow together in an environment that fosters creativity and teamwork. They plan, organize and work together helping them to learn the foundational skills needed to find success in whatever path they chose.
None of these benefits are meant to take away from traditional options for students after school. Afterschool programs like Flex aren’t for everyone, but we like to think that we provide options that can cater to most needs. With an afterschool program highlighting vendors, we’re able provide something for everyone, and kids and parents both seem to be loving it. We’re excited to keep growing our toolbox and elevating kids even more this year!