Elevating the Mind & Creativity of a Child at the Student Success Center
by MILENDRA BASS
The Student Success Center is an academic and cultural enrichment space that stimulates the mind and creativity of our students from ages 5 to 16 years old. We elevate each child through activities focused on academic assistance, social and emotional learning, and healthy fitness.. The activity became a bridge to transition the children from Healthy Meals to Academic Support. Academic Support consisted of an hour and 15 minutes of homework or class project help. Lastly, we ended the day with dismissals and weekly announcements.
The day to day schedule consists of picking up students from the local schools at 2:15 pm to ensure their safe arrival at the center. Next, we begin Healthy Meals which is the nutritionist program to serve each child healthy food options. Each classroom had an activity of the day. The activity became a bridge to transition the children from Healthy Meals to Academic Support. Academic Support consisted of an hour and 15 minutes of homework or class project help. Lastly, we ended the day with dismissals and weekly announcements empowered their emotions, logic, and ethics.
One of our past projects involved the Choice For All Election in collaboration with the Civic Engagement Department. We held a mock election to understand the stages of an election and how crucial it is to vote. Students obtained the knowledge of political parties, choosing a candidate, understanding their campaign to aid in the process of changes a voter agrees too, the concept of a ballot and casting their vote. Within our Music Therapy Program, a well-known session the students admired is “Shake, Shake, Shake”. Here we allowed kids to pick out an instrument of their choosing from maracas, drums, tambourine, and xylophone to shake out or off any frustration or tension consumed from the day. The previous year we introduced Bloxels, a computer science program where students constructed their own video games.
As Program Director, I was in fear of the challenges for a new change. I wanted to incorporate ideas I learned when I began as a headteacher for the third to fifth-grade classroom. In such, creating a more intensive time management breakdown for day to day activities. My top concern was getting the students involved to this new change. They were familiar to a style, yet their adaption was admirable. More time was given towards their academic assistance and enrichment programs. It was important to implement programs that empowered their emotions, logic and ethics.
After school programs are beneficial because it is aids in the process of a child’s growth and development – academically and socially. It is a safe environment where everyone involved is learning while having fun. I am grateful to witness children become enthusiastic about new friendships, new enrichment specials, and an overall new style of the program. At Choice for All to understand a child, you have to meet them where they are. We will also continue to educate, empower, and elevate each child we serve.