Congratulations!! You have taken the first step and decided you would like to implement After School Clubs at your After School Program. Now where do you begin?
1) If time permits, schedule a Staff Clubs Planning Workshop. You can use information from my post “What are After School Clubs?” to help explain the benefits of after school clubs to your staff.
2) Give each Staff Member a piece of paper and ask them to write down several of their favorite hobbies or things the children in their center may be interested in. Their list may look like the one below:
3) Once they have completed that task it is time for some creative brainstorming to develop their first theme. From their list have them choose one idea that is their favorite and place it in the center of the page. Now challenge them to think of games, activities, crafts & special events for that activity. I have included an example below using the theme “Harry Potter.” If possible have Resource Books, catalogs & internet available for this process.
4) Voila – Each person should now have a rough draft of the theme for their first Club. Make sure to have some type of lesson plan template available for them to plan their club idea more in depth. (Lesson Plans are very important to include in case the Club Leader is absent, another Staff Member can easily take over for that session.) Categories you may want to include on this form include: Club Name/Theme, Club Leader’s name, Location, Materials needed, Description, Age group, Ideal club size. Be sure to let your Staff know this was just en exercise and if they are not feeling their idea to go ahead and abandon it and try again. The most important tip on leading a successful club is to have the Club Leader be passionate about their club theme and the idea of sharing it with the children.
5) Finally, remind Staff to stay excited, positive, and enthusiastic about planning their first Club. Kids may not seem too excited at first, but that is only because they have never experienced After School Clubs before. After a short time, Staff, Parents & Children will come to see Clubs as a successful and fulfilling element to your after school program.
I hope this article was helpful. Please feel free to comment or share how you got After School Clubs started at your school!
If you have a great club or activity idea and would like to a guest writer or contributor at afterschoolclubideas.com contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org