Working Together to Support Expanded Learning

Addressing the Risks and Rewards of 3-6 pm

dancing-afterschoolThe bell rings, signaling the start of afterschool for a half million children in the Central Valley. For too many this time is unsupervised, marked by the risks associated with boredom and unstructured time.

The risky behaviors: bullying, drugs, gangs, alcohol, sexual activity, pornography, crime, suicide, and other self-destructive activities. […]

Youth Service to Community Increasing Each Year at Coalinga High School

What do the Horned Toad Derby, Latin Dancing and the Coalinga Chamber of Commerce have in common? All of them engage the students of Coalinga High School’s After School Program!

The Coalinga High School After School Program serves students from the communities of Coalinga and Huron on the west side of the Central Valley. As both a rural and Title I school, the Coalinga High School After School Program is poised to provide youth with engaging enrichment activities to which they might not otherwise have access.

“Our program is student-driven so we strive to provide classes that will be meaningful to them,” explains Sharon Arce, Coordinator of the Coalinga High After School Program. “[We offer] classes such as cooking, improv, guitar and drama to provide students with real world experiences that allow them to master lifelong skills.”

One bright spot of the Coalinga High School After School Program is its service to the community exemplifying the Collaborative Partnerships Quality Standard for Expanded Learning outlined by the California Department of Education. For the past several years the leadership team has partnered with the Coalinga Chamber of Commerce. Students provide support for the Chamber’s Annual Dinner, present at monthly luncheons, and help with some of the big community events, such as the Horned Toad Derby. This partnership is quite the success as evidenced by the increase in youth involvement and service to the Chamber each year. […]

You Know SEL is Important…Now How do You Apply it Afterschool?

You’ve reviewed the research. You’ve read the articles. You agree that social-emotional learning (SEL) is critical to academic and life success for students. . . Now what? It’s time to explore actual practices you can implement tomorrow in your afterschool program, and learn a little about the “why” behind it all.

Since the publication of initial research in 1990, educational organizations have integrated emotional intelligence into their programs through the process of social-emotional learning (or SEL).

Megan Agee, Director of Expanded Learning 360°/365 with Partnership for Children & Youth, shares that out-of-school time programs (afterschool, before school and summer) are ideal environments for SEL skill development.

“Key features of expanded learning programs (such as activities that support exploration and discovery, frequent opportunities for youth to work in groups or teams, providing youth with avenues for self-expression and decision-making, and fostering relationships between youth and caring adults) create the conditions for youth and, importantly, the adults who work with them, to practice and build skills together,” explains Agee.

A critical component to successfully implementing SEL in expanded learning programs is to ensure the individual program already has a solid foundation of program quality.

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