Below are a few important things for you to consider as you get ready to run an after-school program.
1. Who will run the after-school program?
You need a kind and supportive person overseeing your space to be the primary contact person for your students. This person should know the ins and outs of your program and be able to communicate with Outliers. Look for someone with a passion for young people, who will be dedicated creating positive, inclusive spaces. Education expertise is not a requirement for this position. You might be this person!
2. What space can you use?
Having a designated space ensures you have control over when you operate. Look for a space with regular access, chairs and tables, lighting. This space might be in a community hall, church, library or even your own home.
3. How many children are you supporting?
Knowing who you will support, their ages and grades, as well as how many children can be in your program allows you to plan your time and resources. An academic program can fit into an already existing program. Consider the grades you can help (check in with the school to see who needs the most support) and look to the children already in your area.
4. What kind of academic support will you provide?
Academic spaces boost a child’s confidence, gives them space to learn, and keeps them in school. You can provide academic support in a variety of ways. Consider the children in your community, what best will serve their academic needs? What support do you have to meet these needs? Remember, once you decide on the type of support you are going to provide, we can train your team.
5. What time do you run your program?
By having a regular time period students and volunteers know what to expect. Consider your capacity. Rather be dedicated and regular. A regular once a week intervention creates a routine that children can trust. You can always build from there.
6. Do you have any helpers?
By getting others involved you will have support to make sandwiches, tutor and setup. Consider who is in your community. Are there out-of-school youth, retired teachers or available parents? Look for helpers who are dedicated and passionate about their tasks.
7. What do you have in your space?
By including resources in your space you build a positive learning environment. What do you already have access to, or can start to collect? There are so many things that build a learning space such as library books, stationery, textbooks and workbooks.
8. What is the name of your after-school program?
A name gives you a sense of identity. Think of a name that symbolises your community or what you want to achieve. You can even get your helpers and students to come up with a name! Once you have a name you are on your way to formalising yourself as a NPO.