Learning in the 21st Century
A real life example of how the government is supporting efforts to create quality afterschool programs is the 21st Century Grant. For early year’s education, this is important. Children are afforded the opportunities to enrichment activities that are aligned with the academic core standards established by the state’s department of education. Homework assistance is a primary component of the 21st Century afterschool initiative. The activities of the 21st Century proposes to build: Character Development, Leadership Skills, Self-Esteem, Socialization/Peer Interaction, etc. The 21st Century Grant primary goal is to provide financial support to school and programs in low-income areas to afford the students programs and opportunities as their middle and upper class peers.
“The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children” (U.S. Department of Education). This program is a great initiative to enhance and support afterschool programs in low-income school districts.
I believe the initiative is an important move to improve afterschool programs. The idea of a “baby sitting” program is dated. I believe this is a move in the 21st century mode of education and quality programming. Research based learning and approaches are the way to go for effective learning for the student in the programs. The 21st Century Grant/Initiative provides the financial support needed to support quality programming.
As educators, we look for quality research based outcomes that promote learning. Are there efforts or initiatives in your programs or school that are proving to be effective for child development and learning? What are some additions you have seen work in afterschool programs for the primary and elementary grades, specifically K-3?
I have provided the link for the 21st Century Grant. The page has links and information that discusses the mission, program eligibility, current 21st Century Programs, etc. Take a look; it may be a useful site that you may want to implement in your afterschool program.