Today’s world can be very busy and hectic with all the different scheduled activities that kids have these days. Enrolling children in a before and/or after school program can give a child a feeling of normalcy and a routine in their day. There are many benefits to a before and after school program. Often, when kids are asked what they like most about their day, they mention the kids and teachers they meet while attending a before or after school program. Mr. Brent, Assistant Director at The Children's Workshop in Smithfield, visited our friends at The Rhode Show to discuss this topic. Here are some of the other positives that are associated with Before & After School programs:

Why Choose A Before & After School Program:

Safety: After school programs are a fun and safe alternative to sending a child home alone or with someone that you don’t know very well. After school program employees go through background checks and training to ensure safety of the program. Also, the provided transportation keeps the child safe from walking home on busy roads.

Homework help/educational activities: Most after school programs will provide homework help to relieve the stress of parents having to do it at night when they get home from work. Teachers in afterschool programs are sometimes more connected to the schools and can explain the new ways of math that are being used today to help the children do their homework at the program. Also, there are many educational activities that are run in after school programs that are very educational and designed to stimulate the brain, as opposed to kids going home and watching TV or using an IPad until their parents get home.

Healthy snacks/meals: Many before and after school programs provide breakfast before school, as well as snack when the children come back. These are often healthy options that include all the components for a healthy well balanced meal. Also, for some of these kids it’s the only source of breakfast or snack they may get.

Socialization: Another important aspect of a before and after school program is socialization with other kids. Many kids who come to a program where they learn to play with others benefit more than those who go home after school and don’t interact with others. When kids play together they learn roles; how to establish rules in games that they play, how to work out small conflict issues, and also how to win and lose with sportsmanship. They also make friends that they may not see every day at school since most programs serve many different school districts so it extends their circle or friends outside of just school.

The benefits of a before and after school program for children of all ages are endless. The productive and social atmosphere is always something that you can feel when walking into a well-run school age room. Careers in this field are also rewarding for anyone who is looking to become a positive influence on the lives of children.

Posted by Mel Cline