AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
After School `Program
The Shaw Community Center after-school program is designed to encourage and assist students to reach their full potential academically and socially using evidence-based socio-emotional learning practices.
Students receive tutorial assistance and mentoring by trained staff as part of the program's goal to help them develop a strong foundation and appreciation for the learning process, academic achievement and responsible citizenship.
Participants in the program arrive at the SCC Center after school and stay until 6:00 pm. The daily schedule for students participating in the program includes a time in which students are given the opportunity to study and work on homework with tutoring in reading, spelling and math. Then, students enjoy a nutritious meal donated by DC Central Kitchen, before taking part in Enrichment instruction, in which they are encouraged to think critically about matters in their community with a particular emphasis on the arts and humanities. There is a brief period of cleaning up before students return home.
As part of its Best Practices program, SCC has adopted, the number of staff to students is kept at a 1:10 ratio. This ensures that students receive as much individual attention from staff as possible. Another component of the Best Practices program requires SCC to provide after-school participants with fun and engaging activities outside of academic assistance. Our program provides classes in the arts, music, literacy and the humanities, media production, nutrition, mindfulness and wellness, dance, martial arts and computer literacy. The after-school program also provides a safe haven for children, held together by a system of well established rules, a Code of Conduct, which has been formulated by the youth themselves. Enforcement of the Code is done by peer mediation under SCC’s restorative justice program.
Both staff and parents are actively involved in the after-school program. The staff maintains communication with schools and keeps tabs on students' grades and behavior. Lessons challenge participants to think critically about academic material and the society in which they are living. When registering a student, parents are required to sign a Parent's Agreement. They promise to attend monthly meetings to discuss their child's experience in the program as well as provide feedback on the program's success. Parents also are required to volunteer monthly at SCC and donate healthy snacks and drinks.
Education is the key to bringing families out of poverty. In a neighborhood where the unemployment rate is over 15% and 32.3% of children live below the poverty line, a focus on keeping children in school and teaching them to make positive life decisions is essential. The Shaw Community Center program has expanded to serve 110 youth, ages five to eighteen. The after-school program has boosted the confidence and measurably enhanced the academic and socio-emotional learning success of the participants. The result is an increased likelihood of the students attending college and receiving scholarships that will open up greater opportunities for them to achieve their life goals and to seek fulfilling careers and grow up to be happy and productive citizens.