Creating Productive Spaces
Activities and productive spaces outside of the classroom are essential for development in children and young adults. Research shows that participation in after-school programs can boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a structured environment for children during their free hours. This is especially critical for children from vulnerable and unstable backgrounds.
This year, our staff at Pwoje Espwa has been working diligently to update our After-School Program for the children who find home at PES.
As we have expanded our staff of qualified social workers and school administrators, our team is working diligently to build an enrichment program that ensures all children have access to growing and learning spaces that are positive, safe and accessible.
The After-School Program will have 4 areas of concentration:
|Life skills – Kids will learn skills that are necessary for independent living, including cooking, how to manage a budget, how to live a healthy lifestyle, among many others.||Vocational / job training – Kids will have the opportunity to focus on a vocational skill in addition to cultivating skills necessary to find a job, like writing a resume. Also offered will be on-campus internships in several departments for 14-18 year olds. Those interested would have the opportunity to apply for a limited number of positions across campus and would receive a small gratification.|
|Psychosocial – This area will include a range of enrichment activities, including art, dance, sports, and the like. These activities will be a fun outlet for the kids while still providing a structure within which they will learn lessons on respect, communication, and teamwork.||Community service – Kids will learn the importance of giving back to others through various community service projects within the Espwa and surrounding community.|
While many aspects of the After-School Program are still “under construction” as our social workers continue to create the most fruitful and successful enrichment models and activities, the program kicked off two weeks ago with after-school study hall hours.
For primary grades, study hall has commenced and gives the opportunity to extend our students’ learning. The students meet Monday through Thursday from 3-5pm.
House monitors provide supervision and assistance in the classroom as the students spend time completing homework and learning with one another. Instead of free time in the villages where it may be more difficult for house monitors to bring kids together to do their work, the classroom environment provides a structured time period for the children to focus on their assignments without the distraction of the villages.
Clifford Charles, a social worker at PES, works with our students as a child development professional. “Study hall brings better results for kids,” says Mr. Charles. “In the past, kids didn’t always have a good space or structure to study. Now they have house moms, social workers, and other adults to help guide their learning.“
We can’t wait to see their growth throughout the school year!
Over the fall and winter terms, new components of the program will be introduced. Stay tuned for updates on the After-School Program!