For enrichment programs to be successful and have a positive impact on the community, they need to meet certain standards. Flex Academies is committed to that ethic, with its programs, vendors and staff geared towards helping districts make a positive impact in the surrounding communities.
The Afterschool Alliance has recognized four important milestones that enrichment programs should embrace: aligning with the school day, countering bullies, supporting literacy and providing volunteer opportunities. All four are important to make sure students are getting the most benefits from after school enrichment programs.
Aligning With The School Day
The formal academic learning environment is without a doubt the main component of any child’s education. However, having enrichment programs that build on the knowledge learned in the classroom can be equally important to a child’s development. These kinds of after school activities are useful for children who need more time to comprehend and engage with challenging subjects, and also help students generate more interest in their schoolwork. For instance, a Flex Academies app design class can help students engage their STEM classes, and will help them connect the dots early on between education and practical skills.
Countering Bullying Behavior
It’s clear that enrichment programs help to curb bullying. These programs are useful not only to help victims of bullying build confidence and deal with their emotional issues, but also to allow the bullies themselves to destress and channel their negative energy into something positive and constructive. Bullies often have many emotional issues that aren’t addressed during the school day, and things like exercise programs, bike repair or improv programs can allow both bullies and victims to build more functional social skills.
Literacy doesn’t just refer to reading and writing skills, but to the ability to comprehend science, math and social studies concepts as well. Enrichment programs that address literacy help to improve students’ ability to work with new words and concepts so that they can be successful both in school and in the world. Activities like Newspaper and Wall Street Wizards allow students to engage with challenging topics and improve their comprehension and communication skills in a fun way.
Providing Volunteer Opportunities
Lastly, volunteer opportunities are another crucial part of successful enrichment programs. Volunteering allows students to develop compassion and become more involved within their communities. When students feel like they’re having a positive impact on the world, they tend to be happier and more connected with others.