Child student Enrichment Activities, Academic Success and the Social-emotional Benefits
There are proven connections between enrichment activities, academic success and social-emotional benefits. Enrichment activities promote critical thinking and problem- solving skills, improve student’s ability to concentrate, and make learning more meaningful, valuable, and rewarding.
Enrichment activities are fun, which helps students to become more engaged in their learning and retain more information.
These activities also give children opportunities to build friendships they might not otherwise have had the chance to make. When children are put into an environment with other children at a variety of levels and ages, the activities become more motivating, fun, and unique. These programs encourage children to work cooperatively with others. Through these enrichment programs children also develop increased self-confidence Increased self-esteem, creativity, leadership and decision-making skills.
Enrichment activities act as a key for healthy development and learning. Science shows that, from birth through young adulthood, our brains are continuously developing. Children and youth need continued support throughout this development from different learning environments.
At Nexplore we foster a love of learning in our students through enrichment activities that are hands-on experiences designed to inspire and empower their natural curiosity. We are committed to offering a diverse range of learning opportunities where students can explore their passions and strengthen the core life skills needed to thrive in the 21st century.
Over the summer we added new enrichment programs.
Arts Rods which is a 3D art program, Survival Science teaching, students to learn exactly what to do in an emergency through the team-based study of real-world survival skills.
Finance which takes a hands-on and fun approach to understanding money in the real world empowering PreK-8th grade students to take positive financial action in their lives, thus, improving emotional wellbeing and overall health and Boom Whackers.
What is a boom whacker? Well, it’s a stick which, when whacked, plays a musical note. It’s as simple as that. Boom whackers enhance learning by integrating music and movement. Boom whackers are lightweight, hollow, color-coded, plastic tubes, tuned to a musical pitch by their length and when you whack them and they create a unique sound.
For the next few weeks Nexplore will be attending numerous conferences across the states promoting our programs. We will be in Wisconsin on September 24th presenting to the providers of the 21st Century Learning Centers recipients, in Orlando on September 25 -27th at the Florida After School Alliance conference and in Houston Texas on October 11th at the Harris County Department of Education.
Study: RAND Researchers Explore “The Value of Out-of-School Time Programs”
At Nexplore we believe firmly in the importance of data-driven studies in guiding the design and implementation of our after-school programs. The RAND Corporation recently released a study (available here) entitled “The Value of Out-of-School Time Programs” that examines the data available on how these programs (“OST Programs” in the article) find their greatest effectiveness. The article is well worth the full read, but here are some key takeaways:
* OST programs in general provide measurable benefits, especially to low-income families. The exact benefits depend on the program(s) offered, but ‘multipurpose’ OST programs consistently provide safety and supervision that would otherwise be lacking for children without a stay-at-home parent, and ‘academic’ OST programs provide a significant positive effect on students’ academic achievement
* While these benefits are clear, there is a lack of complete research data. Specifically, the researchers posit that there is a credible link between more specialized activities in OST programs (e.g. violin lessons rather than open play in a gymnasium) and enhanced opportunities for the attending students later in life. Better cataloging of data would allow researcher to put theories like this to more rigorous tests. This would allow schools and policymakers to choose programs more wisely, and would allow programs to increase their effectiveness.
* To the best of their ability OST programs should ensure that individual students maximize attendance in their courses. This not only demonstrably provides the greatest benefit to those students, but also provides clearer data for the aforementioned possible research.