Ffter-school program a boon for students, parents

Oct. 29—Grand View School's after-school program helps enrich students with more time focused on academics.

Glenda Sellers, Grand View Schools family engagement coordinator and director of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, said the after-school program called "Do Your Best" is funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant and is through a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Sellers said when school ends at 3 p.m., participants in the after-school program are offered a nutritious snack, and then sectioned off into grade-appropriate groups with staff mentors and certified teachers. She said the program, especially Power Hour, is like an extension of their regular school day.

"The first hour is called 'Power Hour' and they have their certified teacher work with them by [helping them] finish their homework or [participate in] enrichment-type learning," said Sellers.

The program, which also focuses on teaching through project-based learning activities, has over 200 students from Pre-K to eighth grade who participate every day.

"It's almost like a whole school within itself," said Sellers.

Sellers said the after-school program provides several different extracurricular activities, such as the Walking Club, a tumbling/cheer group, Cherokee Class, and various art activities, depending on a student's grade level.

"They're all very similar in providing a safe environment for the students," said Sellers. "It's not just a babysitting service, but the students will get homework help and enrichment activities and learning games, while they are learning things that will help them move forward academically."

The program allows students to have a choice in what they want to participate in, to an extent. Sellers said the reason Grand View offers so many after-school activities is due to its diverse system and its desire to accommodate each student's needs.

While some clubs are artistically based, some lean more toward being focused on exercise. Sellers said almost all of her after-school students have participated in the Walking Club, which features a teacher walking with students around the grounds of the school, sometimes reaching a mile each time.

She said while the students enjoy being in a safe environment where they can hang out with their friends, making the day easier on parents is one of the main reasons for the program.

"It's to help accommodate the parents needs because we have so many parents who are working, and we don't want our students to be left at home without any kind of supervision," said Sellers.

As another way to help parents with their busy schedules, Grand View School also provides students who participate in the after-school program with transportation, which takes students to designated parent pick-up locations.

Sellers said the school's hope is that students will improve their academics and social skills.

Get involved

Students who want to get involved with the "Do Your Best" after-school program can contact the office at 918-456-5131 or fill out an application at grandviewchargers.org.