beyond 3:30 Programs
With a minimum of 60 minutes of skills-oriented training, beyond 3:30 students are becoming healthier and learning important leadership and teamwork skills — not to mention excelling at sports and having a great time doing it. 64% of students said that they learned something new about fitness and sport. The majority of beyond 3:30 students attend the program all 5 days of the week, and while the hour of fitness training is a big draw, many also credit the additional 30 minutes of physical games, like octopus or dodge ball, among their favourite parts.
The Junior Chefs' Club is a cornerstone of beyond 3:30, often encouraging students through the door. Under the supervision of a trained Nutrition Staff, a rotating crew of students learn how to cook easy, healthy and inexpensive meals. Then they do the dishes! By providing them healthy food every single day we help improve their immediate health and reduce behavioral issues. By teaching them how to plan, shop for and prepare their own meals, we give them the skills they need to keep themselves healthy for the rest of their lives.
Led by Teachers’ College graduates who liaise directly with daytime school staff, beyond 3:30 children get targeted after-school support to learn better study habits and achieve better grades. beyond 3:30 students have said that participation in the program helped them work harder in school, and 70% said their grades improved as a direct result. Many of these students have the ability to succeed; they just need the tools to be able to do so and beyond 3:30 is providing those tools.
The Financial Literacy Program is designed to help introduce the students to important, real-life issues and lessons. They learn about things like interest, mortgages, and RRSPs as a way to get them familiar with the concepts to take away any fear or apprehension. Tailored to a younger age group, the sessions are games-based and use simple language they find fun, as well as informative. Most of our staff reported learning nearly as much as the kids!
A variety of art programs were offered in rotation throughout the year. Organizations like Arts for Children and Youth provided formal arts training workshops, free of charge. These initiatives are amoung the most popular with the children, and open a whole new world of art, music, and culture to students that — in many cases —rarely get the opportunity to leave their own neighbourhood.
Community Dinners allow students to demonstrate their new skills to their parents in a casual and welcoming environment. Together, all the participants cook meals and serve the teachers and families who are there as guests. Participation awards are presented and participants share with their parents lessons learned and the benefits that result. It’s a fun and interactive event where parents, students, and staff alike come together and celebrate the successes of beyond 3:30.
In partnership with First Book Canada, we have brought boxes and boxes of free books to our beyond 3:30 students. First Book has also helped us bring authors and illustrators into the schools to talk to the students about writing, drawing, and the business of books. Recently, best-selling children’s author and illustrator Kevin Sylvester joined us at one of our beyond 3:30 locations and brought with a copy of his popular new book for each of the students to take home.
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