The Psychological benefits of After School Clubs

Providing a safe place for children to go after school is so important and parents want to know that their kids are not only safe and well cared for physically but emotionally as well. Providing an After School Club Program can be beneficial in many ways.

  1. After School Clubs  can help instill a sense of belonging- After School Clubs are all about group building, and boosting team spirit as well as that of the individual. Also, giving children the choice of which club they wish to participate in gives them a sense of ownership in their club as well. It’s also a good idea to personalize activities as much as possible. Providing a thematic experience keeps them wanting to come back for more, especially if the theme is a popular one. Kids will look forward to Clubs because they feel welcome. Staff can also help with this by using positive language and displaying excitement about children’s attendance to their clubs!
  2. Promote personal and social skills- Anytime you are working with youth you can provide teachable moments. When leading After School Clubs you can encourage the building of personal and social skills such as raising hands, manners, taking turns, respect, responsibility, and more. In multi-age groups older children can also be taught to be good role models and help younger students or model positive behaviors to them.
  3. Allow for a reduction in juvenile delinquency- This can be true inside and outside of the Child Care Center. For School Age children, attending a Child Care Center after school helps with reducing juvenile delinquency in that they are in a supervised, safe environment. Also, Children that are busy and happy with their after school activities are also less likely to have behavioral or discipline problems.
  4. Improve Social relationships by working in a group- Participating in After School Clubs provides children with the opportunity to work in groups with their peers. This can help them to build new relationships and improve upon existing relationships. Staff can help to facilitate this by reinforcing manners, expressing expectations, and encouraging positive relationships.
  5. Develop positive relationships with Elders- Leading After School Clubs provides an excellent opportunity for Staff to nurture their relationships with children. They can find a subject that is exciting for the children and meet them “at their level.” This will help them to relate to the children better. Once the children trust the adult leading the club they will see them as a role model and mentor and an atmosphere of mutual respect will have been formed.

Every day that passes provides teachable moments for educators to impact the lives of children in a positive way. After School Clubs are no exception!

What kinds of teachable moments have you had with children lately?  How have you made things more meaningful and memorable for the children at your school?

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