Teacher Guide to After School Programs That Work

Developing after school programs is a great way to get students involved with some things that they like to do. Many schools offer after school programs in hopes of attracting students to further their education while providing an outlet of fun. Here are some super ideas of after school programs that you might consider trying at your school.

Ready Readers Book Club. For students who love to read, this after school program can be very relaxing and quite enjoyable for the participants. Give the students a book to read each month, and then play games that correspond with the book or have cooking demonstrations, if the book is based on a particular part of the world. Of course, you can adapt this program for younger children and older children as necessary.

Story Time Arts and Crafts. This type of after school program is geared for younger elementary students. It is a time where you read a book to the children and then offer arts and crafts that relate to the book. For instance, if you read "If You Give a Pig a Pancake," you could have the children paint a picture of the pig with a pancake, or you could let them sculpt a pig and a pancake with colored air-drying clay. There are so many ways you can relate crafts and art to storybooks.

Science Laboratory. For the students who love experimenting and getting messy, offer some fun experiments that they can perform after watching a demonstration by an adult. Make sure that you incorporate the purpose of the experiment and why the experiment works.

Martial Arts Program. Kids like movement, and a martial arts program is the perfect way to get kids exercising and letting off steam from the school day. Martial arts is also a good program to help kids with self-control. You will need to use the services of an experienced martial arts instructor.

Boys and Girls Club. This organization helps give kids a place to go after school that offers fun and enriching activities. It also gives kids a sense of belonging, which makes them want to help other kids feel welcome to the club. The club offers a variety of programs within their structure that include:

  • Character & Leadership
  • Education & Career
  • Health & Life Skills
  • The Arts
  • Sports, Fitness & Recreation
  • Specialized Initiatives

Fitness Program. Another way to let students get active after school is to provide them with a fitness program. This can consist of gymnastics, obstacle courses, learning to play a variety of sports, and many other activities. There are fitness programs that tailor their activities to after school students. One such organization is Functional Fitness 4 Kids, Inc.

Drama for Kids. Kids that like to act, sing, or do the behind-the-scenes projects really enjoy participating in a drama club. When started at an early age, kids can learn the ropes of acting and performing in front of audiences, which makes their transition into later school years easier and totally fun.

Music Appreciation Program. For the students that are interested in learning an instrument that is not readily available through the school year, consider a music program after school. This type of program can consist of learning a new instrument, forming an orchestra or band, and/or preparing to give a concert to family, friends, and the community.

Computer Lab. Technology is getting better and better every passing year. While most adults will agree that children know more about computers than they do, offering productive sessions where students can use computers after school tends to be a very popular program. Not only can students family-friendly games and educational games, they can also learn awesome computer functions, such as how to design their own clipart, and more.