Kids are always looking for something to do, even in the digital age.
Gathering with others, interacting with them, and learning while still having fun; this is a description of the ideal after school activity. Instead of updating their status on social media, perhaps today’s youth should put a bit more focus on developing their social skills. After all, there are opportunities for them to do so, while still learning something.
One such opportunity is the 21st Century Program.
Designed with several goals in mind, the 21st Century Program is centered around enriching the learning experience of students while providing a safe, supervised environment for them to spend time and meet their potential. It is also intended to compliment a child’s regular school experience as well, with supervisors challenging their knowledge in reading, math, and science. Safety and nutrition are also points on which the program attempts to educate children.
Funded through grant money, 21st Century gives students an active learning environment before and after school. It also provides a place and reason for them to congregate together. In fact, one run correctly, the program can be a complete and total enrichment of those enrolled, both from an education perspective as well as a social on.
Stryker Local School is a perfect example.
The program runs throughout the school day, with emphasis put on a morning and afternoon session. Running from 7:30-8:30 A.M., the morning session tends to be dedicated to assisting students with their homework, while the afternoon gathering, lasting from 3:15-5:15 P.M., affords them more time for more active happenings.
A snack is provided for students at roughly 10:00 A.M. 21st Century also consists of one half-hour of physical activity, one half-hour of homework help, and one hour of an Enrichment Learning Activity five mornings and four afternoons a week. The order in which these activities are done may vary, but again, mornings tend to be more homework driven, and afternoons a bit more active.
Several organizations have partnered with Stryker Local Schools over the years to help make 21st Century possible. The Stryker Public Library, Loft Community Center, Stryker Sportsman’s Club, Stryker Police Department, and Stryker Area Pastoral Association have all been willing to help the program. Local businesses such as Quadco and Eric’s Taxidermy have also assisted with 21st Century as well. Such a wide range of community involvement helps with the social interaction skills of students.
21st Century participants have also enjoyed some special activities outside of school grounds. Some of these activities include Laser Tag, going to the Toledo Zoo, Taking in a Toledo Mudhens game, and making a trip to Cedar Point for Math and Science Day.
As for what is being taught during 21st Century, there is a plethora of issues and activities covered by the program. From Cross Country Exploration to Creating Web Pages, students are exposed to a wide spectrum of knowledge. Activities such as learning Basketball Basics, Archery Exploration, Indoor Bowling, Dodge Ball, and Tennis are also common occurrences for those enrolled in the program.
Then there’s Minute to Win It.
Giving students sixty seconds to complete an activity that requires concentration, such as stacking three golf balls together, knocking down paper cups with rubber bands, or stacking and unstacking such cups, those who complete their task in the allotted time will receive a reward. This is a favorite amongst kids within the program.
Any student at Stryker Local Schools in grades six through twelve is eligible to enroll in 21st Century. Children with disabilities are certainly not excluded from the program either, as the activities can easily be tailored to meet the requirements of those with special needs as well.
Furthermore, parents can decide which days their child will attend 21st Century, as enrollment allows for parents to sign their kids up particular days of the week according to the needs of a family. If one’s child is sick, or has to leave school early, the school’s office will inform the after school staff, so no extra arrangements need to be made.
Stryker’s 21st Century Program, on average, has fifteen kids attend its sessions. Students enthusiastically take part in the activities provided by the program, while the staff enjoys giving them such a great experience.
That sure sounds a lot better than posting something on someone’s wall.