After-school Enriches Students

December 19, 2014

“Yes! I’m going to After-school today!” Kindergartner Mauricio R. exclaimed one afternoon after hearing he would be joining the program that day. “My friends are in After-school, and we have fun,” he explained while pumping his hands up in the air. OLQA’s After-school program has expanded this school year to include more specialized enrichment activities. It’s no wonder Mauricio is so enthusiastic.

Thanks to parent feedback and guidance from the Partnership for Inner-City Education, OLQA assessed its After-school program for improvements. The structure that emerged this year is based on that feedback. After-school’s new structure emphasizes homework help while balancing enrichment activities. From dismissal to 6PM, students from PreK-3 to 8th grade participate in activities such as Design Squad, Chess Club and, Kids in the Game. Part of the new vision for After-school also includes year end performances that highlight the students’ accomplishments. After-school program director Ms. Yajaira Mercado has planned for a year “filled with opportunities for students to pursue new interests, cultivate friendships, and continue to build a strong sense of self.” Students and parents are reacting positively to the change. “I notice a big difference,” says Mrs. Austin, mom of Kindergartner Amira. “Last year Amira would run to me when I came to pick her up. Now she’s begging me to let her stay!”