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After school Programs

“The Goal Setting for Students content is one that inspires confidence in students, teachers, and parents…..The concepts presented in this content are an essential part of developing responsible, caring, and respectful young people.”
- Liz Gibbons, Executive Director Character Plus

Many teachers, parents, administrators, business leaders and politicians are frustrated with the current system. The key is change - significantly change the way students participate in their school experience.

How Can After school Programs Help?

  • Develop a comprehensive content about educational responsibility
  • Teach the content to show students how they can take a significantly larger, pro-active role in their education and their future.

  • Teach the content in the after school programs
  • It is not enough for schools to simply teach a new Federal or state mandated content. The content must be fully embraced by parents, administrators, teachers and students.
It is time to give teachers more support by developing a comprehensive educational responsibility content for grades 3 -12.

I love teachers and think they are the unsung heroes of our generation.

Today’s teachers have to compete with MTV, BET, iPods, iTunes, cell phones, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, text messaging, reduced school budgets, less parental involvement in schools, the No Child Left Behind Act and a host of other concerns. Each year we have spent billions of educational dollars on what adults will do for their children. 
We spent over $550 billion on education. Breakdown:

  • Over 99% on learning environment issues - buildings, books, science labs, teachers, libraries, etc. 
  • Less than 1% is spent teaching students how they can positively impact their education.

Think of positive impact on our nation’s education system if we doubled the student’s portion of the education budget to 2%, and spent those monies on an educational responsibility content for all students from 5th through 12th grades. 
To be successful the educational responsibility content must have the same priority as core subjects like English, math, and science. While afterschool programs would be the teaching vehicle, it is essential that the whole school gets behind the concept, embraces it and positively reinforces the new content’s messages.

Articles for Discussion in Afterschool Programs

Examples of those life skills articles that can be used in after school programs:

Goal Setting 10 Roadblocks to Your Success
Goal Setting Dreams vs. Goals
Goal Setting Determination
Goal Setting Excuses, excuses, excuses

Character Development10 Ways to Help Your Teacher
Character Development 10 Steps to Better Grades
Character Development The Awesome Power of YES
Character Development10 Ways to Prepare for Success

Positive Attitude Who Stole Your Day?
Positive Attitude Leave It on a Good Note
Positive Attitude Two Great Questions
Positive Attitude Confidence Builder for Children

Goal setting must be an integral part of the content.

Currently, schools are teaching goal setting, as a 30-minute segment of a much bigger program (i.e. character education, alcohol and drug prevention, dropout prevention, etc.)
Goal setting is a life skills tool that can significantly change a person’s future and their educational experience.

The educational responsibility content, consisting of character education, life skills and goal setting, would teach students how to plan and take action on their dreams, the importance of eliminating excuses and how to use the goal setting principles in the classroom. Students would learn the importance of volunteering and helping others, and how to replace negative thinking with positive, reaffirming statements.

The goal setting portion of the after school programs could teach students What is Success?, Goal Setting Principles, Samples and Practice, Investing Yourself, Measuring Your Progress, Meeting the Challenge and How to Get Started

“Success is not measured by money or fame, but by how you feel about your goals and accomplishments,and the time and effort you put into them.” 
- Willie Stargell, Baseball Hall of Fame

When students take educational responsibility, they take personal responsibility to do something positive to change their lives. The content would be designed to give students a better sense of purpose and to increase academic achievement. Students would learn that there may be challenges in their path, but that they do not have to become insurmountable roadblocks to a student’s future. With responsibility comes dignity and self-respect.

This is an important content for ALL students, but we have seen a great deal of success where students are distracted or need additional help. Here are some other places for you to consider: afterschool programs, in school suspensions and at risk programs or alternative education.

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