Over the last few months on the campaign trail, we’ve heard from parents and students alike about their experiences in the CER aftercare program run through the Voorhees School District. Many have expressed dissatisfaction about the lack of structure associated with these programs to meaningfully engage students after school. We've heard that students spend much time in CER care scrolling on their iPads and that working parents often feel a sense of guilt for having to utilize the program.
The Keeping Schools Smart slate is excited to share that at last night’s school board meeting, we proposed a solution to this problem; bringing exciting, budget-friendly after school clubs to the Voorhees School District.
These clubs would be run by self-selected teachers or non-profit or community partners in the district in an area of their interest or expertise. These clubs can be taken in place of or in addition to traditional after-school care. We strongly believe that these clubs will enhance students' academic learning and expose them to a variety of activities to help prepare them for the world. Our hope is that programming can also meet some of our goals around increasing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) opportunities for Voorhees learners. From coding to crafting to team-building activities, we want to offer the best options we can to our scholars. Club options could include things like coding, chess, painting, crafting, theater, debate or sports to name a few ideas.
How do we pay for this? Like traditional CER aftercare, these clubs would have limited spots available and be fee-based for families to help to cover the expense of staffing, materials, and other related costs.
Neighboring school districts already offer club options like these. We are excited about the prospect of offering similar programming so that students have an opportunity to explore their interests and be meaningfully engaged during hours when parents and guardians may still be working.
This program would mean less TV time, less mindless scrolling on a device and more time for students to explore their interests, be exposed to new learning opportunities, and be meaningfully engaged during work hours.