Quality of Program Assignment
In learning institutions, after-school programs have the role of improving the growth and learning activities of school-age children by providing them with incredible opportunities through an array of activities. These programs values are evident since they foster tremendous improvements in the education system, neighborhood development and prevention of crime. For instance, it is during after school programs that school children can undertake deeper research into what they learned during class time: class time is often limited in scope. These programs provide an opportunity, where free time after normal school classes ends up being utilized constructively and thus adding value to a childs day schedule of learning and growth.
These after school programs cover a wide scope of activities that foster development in school children. However, the most fundamental goal of these activities must include the enhancement of the childs academic achievements. It can be done through constant improvements to a childs abilities and interests in reading, encouraging him or her to participate fully in attending to his or her homework.
After school programs should have a goal with the sole intention of supporting the childs development socially and improving his or her relationship with peers and adults. Co-curriculum activities, such as sports and debates, serve to develop such social skills. They help the child to become more self-confident due to the relationships he or she builds (Gregory, 1996).
They should have their goals directed towards building the childs moral principles by educating and keeping him or her from engaging in criminal activities and juvenile delinquency. It should be one of its goals since the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the USA has proved that the time immediately after official school time is likely to present an opportunity, where these children commit crimes or become victims of a dangerous crime act (Goldschmidt & Huang, 2007).
These programs should also include the goal of enhancing positive goals. It should educate (with the purpose of reducing) on risky behaviors such as drug abuse and provide learners with positive and healthy alternatives (Jones & Brown, 1999). Otherwise the time after school is most likely to be utilized by idle children to experiment on drugs and engage in unprotected sex. If the learners have a place to go that has caring adults, then their chances of engaging in unhealthy behaviors is likely to reduce considerably.
For a particular after school program to be termed as possessing high standards of quality it must include the following elements or components:
Build a learners strengths: A high quality after school program should always endeavor to improve the childs strengths and not his or her weaknesses. It serves as an opportunity of building his or her morale for participation in all the programs activities. Focusing on the students weaknesses can serve to maim his or her morale causing him or her to lose focus in the program and not develop the required confidence to build relationships with peers and adults (Henderson & Mapp, 2002).
Provide an opportunity for learners to develop decision-making and leadership activities: After school programs that focus on building relationships that constantly serve to engage the learner in making decisions and leading will endorse quality principles in the learner. Such a program is vital to the development of future leaders in society.
Provide creative activities that enrich the learners: An after school program that entails activities, such as art and craft competitions, sports competitions, mountain hiking and nature or museum visits will serve to thrill the learners and thus ensure their constant participation (Bryk et al., 2010).
It should nurture the learners autonomy with the purpose of fostering his or her development: It is a fundamental element of good after school program. It is because it serves to emancipate the learners so that they can perform on their own that with the program intends to achieve. For instance, if the program wants to build the learners interaction with his or her peers and teachers by making it his or her personal responsibility, the entire process becomes autonomous and thus there will be no need for future monitoring.
Provides a conducive environment: An after school program that fosters and supports an environment, which is compelling, entices the learners to have a desire to be present. Environments that are dull and boring will often make learners opt not to attend these programs.
Facility analysis assignment
Our learning facilitys environment has been developed over the past years to accommodate a wide variety of school-age program spaces. Depending on the class grade, each classroom is designed to solicit a wide variety of fillings and attitudes. In kindergarten, for instance, their classes are organized to fit the active play space. Various toys, mind games and art tools are provided for them to enjoy. In order to encourage staff and childrens togetherness, their classrooms are organized with personal space for each staff member and child. It also acts as a private space classroom since the school staff can monitor childrens activities almost all the time.
As the children mature and their classrooms change (as they progress into higher grades), their ambient classroom space is changed gradually. For instance, personal space is limited to only the children. Staff members store their personal possessions in the staff room lockers. Further, the facility accommodates a work space environment for encouraging childrens sporting activities (there is a tennis and basketball court within the facility. The tennis court can be changed to badminton or netball court depending on the game being played). It can be classified as a partial active play space.
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Division of spaces in kindergartens in different ways and older children are organized to solicit different feelings. For instance, when one enters into a kindergarten classroom, the art and craft painting, the game tools and personal spaces to place food are an indication that children receive little bit hard classroom lessons of reading and writing. These children have been left to personalize their spaces and can even place mats to sleep, especially after lunch.
However, in the higher grade classrooms, childrens personal spaces are restricted to within ones own desk and the locker that is outside the classroom. The level of learning is very intense since diagrams relevant to subjects such as biology are all over the walls. Assignment books and papers are left on the teachers desk. The level of noise in these classrooms is limited to only when the children are in recess; otherwise, the entire facility is silent. Ventilation and lighting in this facility is strictly kept on in classes and outside. In order to ease the movement (the facility accommodates a lot of children hence sometimes movement can be difficult), the facility is set in such a way that classroom doors lead directly to a wide street corridor that, in turn, has a huge door that leads outside and to other gaming or conference rooms (the facility lacks enough room to accommodate sporting activities like soccer: children have to use the community field). The facility is kept clean by a thorough day-to-day cleaning of the facility.
This facility can be improved through the setting up of alarm and electric bell systems to ease the noise generated by one gong bell present in the corridor. The windows in the classrooms are placed too high and are considerably too small permitting little light during the day. By lowering and enlarging the windows, electric energy could be saved by limiting lighting to only during the night. The fact that senior children have their lockers outside necessitates constant movement in and out of the classrooms. Therefore, their desks can be built with a locker that can serve to accommodate their books and personal belongings.
Tips for involving families after school assignment
The best after school and educational programs should perpetually seek to accommodate the childs parents and the entire family to the learning activities of the child (DeAngelis, 2001; Kreider &Westmoreland, 2011).
School can help parents to develop their homes into learning centers. It can be achieved through encouraging teachers to assign homework and after school activities that will require the advice of somebody at home. School can also provide suggestions and knowledge about the most appropriate space and homework requirements back at home. It was especially the case with Educational Enhancement Program (EEP) of the Boys and Girls Club of America (Schinke, 1999).
In case of home environments, where parents do not understand or speak English, school could provide programs or pictorial books and engage parents and the entire family in discussion of these pictures with their children in their own language. It is especially the case with the aboriginal communities, where the use of English language is limited. It has been done especially in Maryland Extended Day Programs (Hawley W. Et al., 1997).
The learning institution should further seek to encourage and challenge its staff (it is not limited to the teachers alone) to make at least one positive contact with each parent during the after school program. It will serve to keep both the staff and parents at home adapt to the childs development, behavior and performance both at school and home.
After school programs should serve to encourage children to write personal notes that compel their parents to join school programs. The children should be encouraged to design invitations for parents to join parent conferences at school (Henderson & Mapp, 2002). These conferences can also be held in the premises of the parents local business or office. It can even be further integrated with pancake breakfasts to foster relationship building.
Families can also be engaged in overall school programs and assignments by helping them to play an increasingly bigger role. It can be done by inviting parents to engage in school development programs and leadership councils (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson & Davies, 2007). Here, they will lead and impart leadership skills to their children. For parents who will not able to attend, there should be opportunities for them to help back at home.
There should also be the encouraging flexible schedule for school and family interactions. It makes it possible for easy accommodation of parents into the overall picture. This flexible schedule could also mean that most parents have the opportunity to participate in formal and informal activities of school any time they are free. By planning and making schedules of these interactions flexible, more parents will be able to place their own appropriate time of attending (Gregory, 1996). It can further include special programs like take your family to school, which are to be integrated with special activities.
The learning institution can also foster the involvement of parents by offering them resources. It can be done through creation of libraries or family centers that lend parenting materials; through establishing and providing kits that serve to welcome new families throughout the year.
In conclusion, after school programs, the conditions of the learning facility and the incorporation of parents in the overall learning activity foster positive child development as evidenced by answers given to the above three questions. They have served to elaborate, evaluate and indicate the best practices that are fundamental in building the quality learning environment with quality after school programs.