The U.S. education system has long been scrutinized for the foolish decision to cut back on funding for afterschool programs and focus solely on classroom education. Although math, science, and literature are fundamental to one’s overall education, these cuts don’t take into account that learning isn’t restricted to school hours. Actually most of life’s most important lessons are learned on the playground from peers and first hand experience. Fortunately, these nonprofit organizations continue to provide the afterschool care and enrichment kids need to grow. Here are our top 4 non profit afterschool programs.
Children of Promise: Providing care for children with incarcerated parents
One could only imagine the difficulty of being or having an incarcerated parent. The Children of Promise organization is the only one of its kind, providing afterschool and summer day camps to children with incarcerated parents. The emotional and psychological stress of having an incarcerated parent requires a supportive and structured environment. Children of Promise offers a number of services, including comprehensive academic assistance, personal mentoring, and mental health services. The organization is dedicated to empowering children of incarcerated parents, and reminding them that they are never alone.
The Sanctuary on 8th Street: Providing unique and innovative enrichment activities
Afterschool programs aren’t just tutoring services or extended recess time. They are structured to exercise all aspects of childhood development. The Sanctuary on 8th Street integrates unique outlets for children and young teens that reflect culture and society as it is today. The organization offers a range of activities, including yoga, Taekwondo, chorus, and weekly field trips. The Sanctuary on 8th encourages the youth of Jacksonville, Florida to broaden their view of the world and take an active role in improving their community environment.
Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center: Provides IT skill development
The Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center has developed a curriculum with the goal of preparing young people with real-world skills that apply to our rapidly changing society. As a foundation, SNBC helps youth meet the California Department of Education’s Content standards in their elementary, middle, and high school programs. They further develop useful career skills by integrating project-based learning “clubs” into traditional coursework. According to the club’s subject matter and demands, participants utilize computer software, such as iMovie, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Office. Computer literacy is integral to one’s career development in a society almost completely dependent on technology.
Wings for Kids: Focuses on developing social and emotional intelligence
Ginny Deerin, the founder of Wings for Kids, found that education was missing a very important sector that, if underdeveloped, would affect all other realms of learning. Wings for Kids is the only organization in the U.S. that emphasizes developing and improving social and emotional intelligence in an after school setting. The program teaches proper behavior, decision-making skills, and how to foster and maintain healthy relationships. The different components of social and emotional learning are broken down into accessible skills and exercises, all in a supportive and progressive environment. Wings For Kids establishes a solid foundation of social skills that is essential to developing all other aspects of education and emotional growth.