A Day of Smiling Faces at the Aftercare Program
It’s another sunny day at the elementary school: kids giggle, building with blocks and legos. Two little girls read together on the small miniature couch, where the sunshine shines through the large windows in the reading corner. When suddenly, “Miss Trinity! Run away egg! Run away egg!” little Hailey squeals. As the white egg rolls across the floor and past the little dinner table, I swoop into action, grab the egg, and save dinner for the toy babies and imaginary friends.
What Does It Look Like?
Whether it be fun talks about how pink lemonade comes from pink lemons or watching a child accomplish new experiences, this is one of the many exciting scenes you can be lucky to witness in the EC aftercare program. Aftercare allows for a place for your child to be safe after school and partake in these new experiences with trusted EC staff. The program is led by the head director Miss Elizabeth Mulcock, teacher Miss Nancy Birdman, and the student assistants senior Amanda Segreto and me, sophomore Trinity Mickens.
When walking into the aftercare program you may notice many things, such as children playing card games in the media center, or little preschoolers playing with trains. However, what you might not notice is the staff at work with your children. Whether it be homework help or playing with your children, they do it all.
However, a lot of planning goes into the program, to make sure that everything is ready and set up for your children. In the words of the director Miss Mulcock, “A lot of planning goes in ahead of time, mostly either over the summer or before the past school year ends. The main thing that goes into planning is organizing the daily schedule, making sure we have the right staff that's needed, making sure all of our activities are set for, we have games, we have food and snacks. And then at the end of the day, making sure everything got wrapped up, closed up and accounted for.” All these things are very important to the program and without them in place a day's schedule is just never complete.
Reason and Need.
One thing you might not know though is that 10-20 years ago there was no aftercare. But as your lives and schedules begin to change EC’s does too. Miss Mulcock wisely put it that, “I think today there are many parents and many families who have a lot of commitments and a lot going on. I think aftercare is very important for busy families that we can offer them a safe place for their kids to go, a place where they know their kids are cared for, their kids are watched, and get to interact with others in a safe and a Christian environment. So I think there are many families who are able to use that program knowing it's a safe place for their kids. I also think it's important, many kids love to come for their friends and fun activities, so that's also exciting and fun.”
Furthermore, the aftercare program allows for these things, through the activities they offer, such as games, snacks, homework help, and even indoor and outdoor play when the weather is just right. What you also might not know is that we also help and support things like, after school clubs, and music lessons that take place after hours.
How Can You Help?
Now that you know about this wonderful program, how can you, a parent, teacher, or student get involved? Students can get involved by signing up to help volunteer in things like the after school clubs. It's a great way to share your passion and connect with the campus community around you. Parents and teachers can help by donating any old toys they have, the kids love to play and interact with new things. Not only that but parents and teachers can help by substituting whenever the aftercare is in need of staff. Maybe you’ll get the chance to witness your own “run away egg” story.
Through this program, all of our staff have experienced their own special moments with each child. One of the most memorable moments I was able to share with Miss Amanda and Miss Mulcock was on one sunny afternoon. “Little three-year-old Alexia had been struggling to go down the big slide for two months. It wasn’t a very big slide but to her, it must have been a mountain. Every time she would try to go down the slide she got too scared. Every day we would all try to encourage her to go down the slide. When suddenly one day she sat on that slide, pushed off from the top platform saying “wee” as she went down. We showered her with high-fives and I had never seen her smile bigger than the day she took on a mountain.”