Finding Social and Emotional Learning in After-School Programs

Finding Social and Emotional Learning in After-School Programs

Article by Brilliant Minds

Part of the objectives of After-School Programs in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines in Florida is to cater to children’s social and emotional learning, and one of the most effective means of instilling these categories of learning is through first-hand experience. Social and emotional learning is a concept proposed by Albert Bandura through his Social Learning Theory. According to the said theory, children learn best from experiences and modeling. Exposing them to volunteer work during After-School Programs is a good teaching method for Bandura’s theory.

According to child psychologists, encouraging volunteer work for school-aged children, specifically for K-5 graders, is a good platform for their future holistic development. K-5 After-School Programs in Florida, along with many other states, have been integrating volunteer work with their normal curriculum because it has definite benefits for the kids in terms of their social and emotional learning, and development. The concept of volunteering has also been part of character education programs for quite some time now. Character education and After-School Programs are generally taught hand-in-hand for most schools in Hollywood, FL and across the US.

Making a weekly plan for After-School Programs is usually easier to do than a monthly calendar of activities. This way, revisions or follow-up sessions can easily be done by the teachers. However, counselors and tutors have to remember that all activities have to be age-appropriate to maximize learning. For K-5 After-School Programs, it is recommended that volunteering activities be done only within the school or in areas near the school. Art activities like making colorful decorations for retirement homes is better and safer than actually bringing them to the retirement center.

Today, enrichment programs in Broward County have also began involving school children in annual volunteer work for retirement homes such as Park Summit and Covenant Village. Volunteer work has also made its way to many summer camp programs across the state including Dade County, Hollywood, and Pembroke Pines. According to gathered observation notes from teachers and tutors in 2 schools from Dade County, frequency of positive behavior increased after a month of exposure to volunteer work.

After-school programs including tutoring may also opt to include this particular learning experience for the students especially for kids in trouble in school and at home. Studies from the Points of Life Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network have indicated that engaging troubled children in volunteer work gives them a greater sense of self-worth and increases the probability of staying in school and avoiding vices. Tutoring programs of schools from Dade and Broward County have already been developing a curriculum to cater to the non-academic needs of young students.

One counselor from a Hollywood, FL school suggested that Tutors for after-school programs can gradually introduce the concept of volunteering by discussing the importance of taking social responsibility for the community. However, leading the children to actually liking volunteer can’t be achieved in just a single session. This is why educational field trips are important to the curriculum. Exposure to places that raises social awareness and sympathy for those in need helps children realize the need to be involved in serving people. Reinforcing their exposure to places such as retirement homes or orphanages with positive moral and social concepts will pave the way to more ready and willing young volunteers.

If you think your kids need the support from an After-School Program, make sure that their curriculum goes beyond the academic. Brilliant Minds of Plantation, FL offers these character education solutions in their After-School Program. You can browse their site for details.

About the Author

Brilliant MindsDeborah Jane Smith176 Wimbledon Lake DrivePlantation, FL 33324Phone: (954) 547-0202Fax: (954) 495-4042Email: dsmith@brilliantmindslearning.comWebsite:

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