The Kenilworth Public Schools set out to find a way to provide the type of elementary-school child care that parents desired – and educate the “whole child” at the same time.
A group of teachers and the building principal at the Harding Elementary School formed a professional learning community, which developed the successful program. District staff members greet the children in the morning, and encourage them to take part in active play, board games and quiet activities, or finish incomplete homework assignments. That’s a positive aspect of the program that enables parents to rely on certified teachers to help children who may have not been able to complete the prior day’s assignment at home.
When the school day ends, after-care continues until 6:30 p.m. Again, a teacher and an instructional aide are available to help with homework, and students work in groups to complete their assignments. As they finish their homework, the students return to the main program area for a choice of other activities.
The Harding School child care program point to success, based on two indicators. Enrollment has almost doubled (from 37 children to 68) since the program was implemented in 2013-14. And perhaps more important – feedback is positive. Parents have commented on how happy their children are, and students have frequently said that they don’t want to go home.
Contact: Dr. Scott Taylor, superintendent, [email protected]
Submitted by school district, December 15, 2014