The St. Paul’s After School Program serves children grades 2-5 in the greater Paterson, NJ area. The main goal of the program is to meet the academic needs of the children. Through mentoring, enrichment classes, field trips and community service, the program consistently helps the students to grow and progress academically. During the school year, the program is from 3:30-6:00 pm, Monday – Friday at a low cost to the families. Transportation and healthy snacks are provided at no additional cost.
A healthy snack is served upon arrival until 3:45 p.m. After a short time for recess, each student has his or her own daily half-hour session with a trained volunteer mentor who gives individual attention. Completing homework assignments is the top priority. If homework is completed, the mentor and student can read together, play games or share interests. If the child does not have any homework, they will go to the “No Homework” room where a mentor leads them in educational games and activities.
We have a system of splitting the children into three teams and each team is led by a part-time AmeriCorps member. The teams participate together in enrichment activities Monday to Thursday, all led by volunteers or the Team Leader. These activities include: art, dance, computers, science, music, cooking, theme activities and games, and the classes cycle every six weeks.
A Mysteries of God class is taught once a month, and is optional. We organize our program around themes which serve as a framework for all of our activities and classes. For example, a theme of “Transportation” lasts for six weeks and the art, science, computers, theme classes and games all focus on some aspect of transportation. And then every six weeks the theme changes. On Fridays, the focus is on activities, trips and projects from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. because most students do not have homework. Finally, at the end of each day, we take the children home.