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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Characteristics of Effective After School Activities

In today’s hectic world of busyness and the plentitude of after school activities, how do you gauge the quality of these programs?  Your child may have a variety of interest, and you cannot possible put them into each an every after school program. After all, when parents are dishing out money for these activities, they really need to understand the details of the program.
Given below is a list of characteristics an effective after school activity should have.
  • An effective program will include objectives and goals that should be clear to the parents. Programs should be organized and structured and also be age-appropriate for the child.
  • The ratio of teachers or instructors to students should be reasonable for that particular program.
  • The staff should be professional, trained, friendly and maintain a positive relationship with all of the children.
  • One of the prime aims for an after school program is the child development in the realm of academic, personal, physical, and social skills.
  • The activity should be challenging and provide many opportunities for the student to increase their level of understanding of complex concepts.
  • There should not be a lot of lag-time or downtime. You are paying for an activity, not just for the child or teenager to sit around.

  • Quality after school activities encourage children and teens to grow stronger -mentally, emotionally, or physically.
  • An effective after-school program emphasizes safety. The staff should not only be qualified, but alert and aware of safety hazards. Never sign your children up for an activity where safety is a matter of accident instead of a matter of priority.
  • The activities should be encouraging and allow the children to voice their opinion and be respected. The program should encourage participation.
  • The after school program should reward success, yet encourage being a “good sport” and that good healthy competition can be rewarding. Positive reinforcements enhance confidence and increase self-esteem.
  • Don’t overlook the fun aspect. School is work. While after school, or extra-curricular activities, should be structured and organized, having fun is also an important part.
The bottom line is successful programs incorporate activities that help the social, physical, and mental development of the child.

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