June 8, 2017
How can you make your program appealing to students, families, school and community? As you compile data for your end-of-year report, add a narrative story that “sells” your program, and it will help you take a step toward long-term sustainability.
Look at these examples and decide which approach has more power to demonstrate the value of your 21st CCLC program activities. Then start crafting your own and share it with your stakeholders!
Example 1. Oakville Afterschool Program
During the past school year, the Oakville program served 45 students from the first through fifth grades during the fall term, and 53 students from the same grades in the spring term. Most students attended at least three days every week, with perfect attendance by 10 students in the fall and 11 students in the spring. All students participated in the Homework Help activity, and most took part in the Readers Theater, where they focused on four different stories. Other activities included Chefs Club, soccer, jazzercise and chess. See the tables on the next two pages for data on student attendance and participation by our community partners and staff members.
Example 2. Oakville Laughing and Learning Together
This school year, our OLL Together students and staff worked on literacy, math, team building and healthy living — and everyone got their homework done, too! Thanks to our new Student Ambassadors program, enrollment grew from 45 students in the fall to 53 in the spring — our kids love to make new friends!
Readers Theater helped students practice important elements of literacy, such as plot, comprehension and motivation. When students produced Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, we asked science teachers to help with understanding the environmental theme. Everyone enjoyed playing with rhymes and meter when we wrote an original chapter about our Oakville environment (see the script on our Facebook page).
Our Chefs Club learned to prepare holiday dishes from different cultures. Our families provided recipes from American, Hispanic and Vietnamese traditions, and students practiced measurements and fractions as they worked in teams to test the recipes, develop the OLL Holiday Cookbook and prepare a December feast for families (see the photos on Facebook).
The local Youth Stages Art Company supported our production of The Lorax, helping our students get into costumes and characters in an authentic setting. Feel the Beat, a community dance group, provided our Monday and Wednesday jazzercise sessions, and sometimes our young musicians helped us keep the beat with their drums. From our University partner, men’s and women’s soccer players came on Thursdays to coach soccer. Our team especially enjoyed their day at the University playing on the “big” soccer field and touring the campus.
Our students told us, “This year was awesome!” We know they meant it, because they had great attendance (see enrollment, attendance and other data later in this end-of-year report). Thanks to our school partners, we could identify and target specific language, science and mathematics skills that needed to be strengthened — and we built those skills into activities that students wanted. Thanks to our families, we could help students learn more about other cultures and build friendships. Thanks to our community, we could encourage arts learning, good exercise habits and team skills — and give our young people a look at life on a college campus.
We agree: This year was awesome!
Reflection and Resources
So, what worked for you? Although the second example took more time to construct than the first, do you think that extra time would likely produce extra support?
Here are some Y4Y tools to help you strengthen your activities so your end-of-year report says “awesome”!
- Intentional Activity Design Diagram. This tool helps you look at student wants and student needs to design powerful activities.
- Knowing Families and Cultures. This tool helps you think about and plan ways to build cross-cultural understandings.
- Partnering With Schools. This rubric helps you rate how well you’re connecting with the school day and suggests actions that can help you improve.
- Literacy: Six Key Strategies. This tool supports literacy activity design by suggesting strategies that support skill development in ways that engage students and family members.
- STEM Strategies and Techniques. Use this tool for ideas about how to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics thinking and learning.
- Successful School-CBO Partnerships Training. This presentation can be used as-is or customized to meet your program’s needs.