How After-School Programs Expand the Educational Experience


>>Man: Go ahead, pull.>>Narrator: In most places, the system of American public
education hasn’t changed much in the past century.>>Historical Film Narrator: Here
in this room, the children learn to read, to write and to figure.>>Narrator: Built on a rigid agrarian
model, it remains immune to reform, intact and in decline, ruled by
clocks and bells, while the rest of the world changes around it.>>Teacher: One through twenty,
are there any questions?>>Bruce: Forty percent
of middle class kids in America are completely
disengaged from school. They even think this is so
boring, they have no use for anything going on there. It’s really criminal in a sense. We have this wonderful, exciting
world that we could expose them to. And instead of that, we’re
saying, “Well, you can’t get there until you memorize all these
facts, and then maybe when you get out of college, you can
do something that’s fun.”>>George: We’ve come to a crossroads
in American education, as to whether or not we can carry the current
structure of this educational system through this century, and I
think there’s compelling evidence to suggest that we can’t do that. We cannot hamstring education by
the structure of the school day.>>Narrator: While there is
no one size fits all remedy to the limitations of the
current educational structure, many promising efforts are
underway across the country that herald a new day for learning,
a fresh approach to the pursuit of knowledge and the use of
resources beyond old constraints of time and place.>>Narrator: There is an
extraordinary community center in the heart of New York City. It offers a complete range of
medical services from dental and medical checkups, to
mental health counseling. There are adult education classes,
and computer training courses, a basketball program
and a bicycle shop, a dance company and
a string ensemble. Those are just a few of the
activities offered after school at I.S. 218, a public intermediate
school, designed from the beginning to meet the needs of
the entire community.>>Jane: When I first came to this
school, I noticed two things. I noticed that the
children seemed happy, and I noticed that there were
a lot of extra adults around, and I wanted to know
what was happening here and how we could make it
happen in more places.>>You wanna spell this one first?>>Narrator: I.S. 218 is open 6
days a week from 7 in the morning to 9 at night all year long. It’s the product of a partnership
between the New York City Board of Education and the Children’s
Aid Society, which pays for and administers the
extracurricular programs.>>Man: The next thing is the planning
for the extended day program. Next year, how–>>Rosa: There has to be
definitely an openness about the things that we both bring. There’s an understanding of the principles experienced
as an educator. There’s an understanding of my
experience as a social worker, and how do the two combine?>>Man: No, you did good. That was good. The way you’re doing it is okay.>>Teacher: Open up, find wild ginger. It’s on page 59.>>Narrator: In Minneapolis, the natural environment
is a living biology lab for various community service
projects, conducted at all hours by students in the school
of environmental studies.>>Dan: Well, the kids go out and do
a chemical analysis of the water. They also will write
a technical paper and then the present their
findings to the water commissioners from the local cities, and those
people actually will be assessing the student work. And what we find is it
really raises the bar for kids and their performance. And what we also find is, kids tend
to remember what they’ve learned down the road, because they
put so much effort into it, and they work with other students
to create a high end product.>>Could use one more.>>One more.>>Yeah.>>Girl: Fire ribs, chicken
sandwich, they’re really good.>>Narrator: At Oakland,
California’s Fremont High School, students solved a lunchtime
truancy problem by opening a student-run food cart. As part of an after school
club, they surveyed other needs in their community, and developed
businesses to address them, such as a tax preparation service.>>Student: At line
thirty-six and thirty-seven?>>Narrator: They also responded to
a district call for new school ideas and ended up designing a new
school curriculum based on their after school program,
which is operating today.>>Nidya: Our experience made us
wanna go to school, work real hard, do more project based
learning, community service. And so we said, “Why can’t
everybody learn this way?”>>Narrator: Clarence Wells spends two
days a week rebuilding racing cars. Evelyn Sanchez spends her
Tuesdays and Thursdays working at a veterinary hospital. And Chandelle Wilson helps
run a nonprofit arts center. These aren’t part time, after school
jobs, but school day internships that allow students to pursue
their individual passions.>>Student: I shot it with
thirty-five millimeter.>>Narrator: Real world learning
situations are at the core of the curriculum of big picture
schools, which operate at more than thirty-five sites
across the country.>>Elena: I think it’s better for
the kids, ’cause they have more of a track to follow, and she knows
now that you have to keep your grades up from ninth grade
on, even before that. They don’t just look at your
last year, where when we were in high school, it was more like,
oh, just goof off and do whatever, and then towards the end,
you know, pick it up.>>Evelyn: I really like being
here on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I even come on the
weekends and I get paid. I want to pursue veterinary. That’s what I want to do in future. I wanna hopefully become a doctor.>>Did you turn in that assignment?>>Yeah.>>Me too.>>Narrator: Thanks to
a unique partnership between the San Francisco
school district and the local architectural
foundation, some students spend mornings
in traditional classes and afternoons working
as interns at some of the top architectural
firms in the city.>>Man: We did a walkthrough at the
base of clock tower to find out–>>Justin: I’m pretty much
an assistant architect, like I get to see everything
an architect has to do, has to go through, has to deal with, and it definitely gives
you a motivation. You’re doing something different. I go there and I just learn tons.>>Man: We can verify our drawing and
actually fill in the missing parts.>>Frank: What we’ve targeted are
students who have not done well in school and we want them to finish
and we want to give them a reason for finishing, and hopefully
along the way, for them to see that there’s career opportunities for them beyond getting
their high school diploma.>>Woman: You don’t have
to scrap the design, ’cause the design is beautiful.>>Will: We know this works first
by the reaction from the students. We get feedback from the
mentors on the growth that they see the students working
in their firms, and we’re starting to get feedback from test scores. We’re starting to see that the
students are having a higher success rate in high school, because they go
back to their high schools energized.>>Mikalynn: You get to
learn about architecture. You get to sharpen up your
skills on like algebra, and like so I always joke around
with my mom and like say, you know, “I’m gonna design your
house one day.”>>Narrator: The Clark County school
system of Las Vegas is a microcosm of the country’s challenges.>>Carlos: Our demographics
have changed radically. You know, we went from a district that was seventy-two percent
Caucasian, ten, fifteen years ago, to now, a district that’s only
forty-eight percent Caucasian and the minorities are the majority.>>Narrator: The fastest
growing system in America, Clark County faces a booming
non-English speaking population, a high high school drop out
rate, and a facilities crunch. But by putting student needs
at the center of the process, the district has developed
some innovative solutions, including the creation of an extensive distance
learning curriculum.>>Mike: I’m able to interact on a
live white board with the students. We speak through the mic.>>If you look at your work and see if you should have been adding
instead of multiplying them.>>Narrator: There’s also a
unique high school that caters to the needs of students who work.>>Kay: We have kids that work
early morning construction. We have kids that work
late night at casinos. And so the high school that goes from
two in the afternoon to nine o’clock in the evening is perfect
for these kids.>>Joseph: It’s a different
environment. The teachers are like a
lot more understanding. They help you out more. It’s a good school to come
to, because they like, they know your needs,
they know you’re working, so they really reward you for that.>>Teacher: [speaks Spanish].>>Narrator: At this Clark
County elementary school, English language skills are
reinforced throughout the day by technology.>>Find the balloon T, T.>>Narrator: And mentorships.>>Mentor: What is that sound?>>Narrator: There are also
literacy programs after school for preschool children
and their parents.>>Teacher: Number one,
John is a student.>>Carol: We knew we had to meet
the needs of the entire family, so by working with the middle school
across the street, the parents go across the street and get
English lessons, which is going to enhance their future,
in terms of job potential. And all the older siblings
they have many choices. Like right now, we have
intramural soccer going on. We have ballet.>>Woman: And one…>>Carol: We have line dancing.>>Leah: The biggest thing,
building self esteem. They didn’t think they’d
be able to perform. First of all, they couldn’t
even do the first dance. They said, “We can’t do this.” Now they know three dances. We’re working on the cowboy hip-hop.>>Narrator: Successful programs like
these require extraordinary vision, creativity and commitment,
and are not easily maintained.>>Student: What exactly
can we get done?>>Narrator: But they hold the promise
of a new day for learning in America.>>Teacher: You want to
put your GPSs up this way.>>Milton: This new day for
learning will require the design of an entirely new learning
system for our students. We’ll need not just schools, but
also many other organizations, youth serving organizations,
businesses and universities, even museums and libraries,
to rethink how children learn, where they learn and
when they can learn. And we do know this can happen,
because we’ve seen many examples of how this is happening
around the nation.>>Jane: The needs are always greater
than the resources that we can bring to the table, even collectively,
but I think that we have found that if you have the word
“yes” written in your heart, you can make almost anything happen.>>All: All right!>>Narrator: For more
information on what works in public education,
go to Edutopia.org

3 thoughts on “How After-School Programs Expand the Educational Experience”

  1. Very good video ! Thx for posting it … #afterschool its important for kids.
    See more @ http://afterschool-adventures.ro

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