Profile of Success: Out-of-School-Time Programs
Additional help on homework, increased socialization time, and experiential learning activities help Nayeli improve the skills she needs to succeed in school and in life.Instead of hopping on her bus and heading home as the final bell rings at the end of each school day, seventh-grade student Nayeli spends her afternoons and early evenings honing her skills for success in Windham’s Before and After School Program.
It takes more than good attendance and class work to be successful in school, and this fact isn’t lost on Nayeli.
“I love it,” she says of the program. “I like being with my friends, and I like the fun activities and work that we do.”
Windham’s Before and After School Program provides Nayeli and her peers with access to quality learning experiences outside of standard school hours and help with classwork that may not be available at home. Each afternoon, the program combines traditional academic instruction and activities that promote learning through play to help students improve skills needed to succeed in the classroom and in life.
“This is like a home away from home,” says Before and After School Program Coordinator Sacha Gomez, who takes pride in working to provide her students with extra socialization and academic help they would not have access to outside of school.
“Some students don’t get the homework support at home. Having the support here and getting the work done in this program makes it easier for students to do well,” she says.
Gomez, who was a participant in the program during her school days, knows the difference it makes in a student’s life. She credits the supervision, socialization and additional instruction she received in the program for getting her to where she is today. Now, she’s excited to see the work of her team make the same difference in Nayeli’s life.
“The program makes it a lot easier for me to do better in school,” Nayeli says. “I have a lot of homework to do, and I get to learn a lot of new things here, like interacting with different people and learning about different cultures.”
Windham’s Before and After School Program is offered through a partnership between Windham Public Schools and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.
In 2013, the program helped more than 120 students increase their individual reading level, which is the greatest indicator of success in school.
Throughout United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, more than 82 percent of nearly 3,900 youth improved their academic performance as a result of their participation in United Way-supported after-school programs.