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2014-summer-challenge

Working Together to Support Out-of-School Time Learning
Addressing the Risks and Rewards of 3-6 pm

risks-of--3-6-pm

The 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.

 
Afterschool Programs Play a Role in Reducing Student Stress

Stress in childrenStress among adults is universal and now it is affecting record numbers of school-aged children.

Up to 10 percent of kindergarten-aged children now suffer from an anxiety disorder, says lead researcher Lynn Miller, an associate professor of education at University of British Columbia. The anxiety rate increases to more than 15 percent of high-school students.

Stress in children acts as a major roadblock to learning and success in school. The efforts and activities of afterschool programs are critical in the reduction of stress among students.

“Afterschool programs have begun to address the conditions of stress in the learning environment. Students need to find a way to release and manage stress,” said Dr. Kim Boyer of Central Valley Afterschool Foundation. “For example, there is a lot of work being done in the area of mindfulness now, where students practice socio-emotional control using the prefrontal cortex area of their brain. They actually learn ways to concentrate on their mental, emotional and physical state, which calms them and allows them to focus. This practice supports the Learning in Afterschool and Summer Principles (LIAS) evident in many programs.”

 
Le Grand High School's Restorative Justice Program Reduces Suspensions and Expulsions

Le Grand High School

 

 

There’s something big happening afterschool at a small high school in a rural area of Merced County.

For the past five years, instead of traditional disciplinary action, Le Grand High School students have been implementing and participating in a youth-led Justice League using restorative justice principles.

Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by negative behavior through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders. Le Grand’s afterschool program, called IMPACT for SUCCESS has initiated substantial personal growth for students and a culture shift at the school level.

This revolutionary idea of students determining disciplinary policy evolved from an overwhelming number of student suspensions and expulsions. In an attempt to redirect negative student behaviors, site coordinator Andre Griggs founded the Restorative Justice League with 12 students and trained them to conduct peer reviews of misbehavior and establish appropriate restitution.

 

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