After-school Program Recap
This month’s post was submitted by Deborah Barkhurst, Student Activities and Family Engagement Coordinator for the Bucyrus City Schools’ After-school program.
The theme for this year’s after-school program was, “Getting to Know Crawford County.” In addition to homework help and extra practice with math and reading skills each week, the after-school program also partnered with several local business and organizations to help the students learn more about their community.
October’s partner was the Crawford County Park District. The students studied local animals and then took a field trip to Lowe Volk Park where they participated in a scavenger hunt and learned about local animals and plants. Other activities included computer skills, kitchen safety and interpersonal skills.
November’s partner was the Crawford County Harvey School, a restored one-room schoolhouse. The students studied pioneer history and had a speaker that discussed the way of life in Crawford County, as well as throughout Ohio during the years of the school’s operation. The students then visited the school and learned about lessons and games during the 1800s. The second annual “Math and a Movie Night” was also held in November. The event, which was open to any BCS student, featured the theme, “Cars and Route 66,” in which stations of math activities were set up for students of all ages. The Disney movie “Cars” was also shown.
December’s partner was the Bucyrus Little Theater. The students studied theater etiquette and watched the movie “The Christmas Story,” as well as attended a live dress rehearsal of the play. During intermission students distributed the hand-made cookies, activity books, and Christmas decorations to distribute to local nursing home residents in attendance. The middle school students also put on their own theater production, a talent show for parents and community members. They made special invitations and baked cookies for those in attendance.
In January morning hours were added to the program so that students could be better prepared for their school day. Two additional adult volunteers, Pastor Don Krapps and Mr. Dan Webber, were also added. In addition to their help with social skills, they continue to be great role models for the boys in the program. Throughout the month of January, the students also learned more about hobbies and tried their hands at activities such as knitting, cooking and scrapbooking. January partners included the school district’s food service department and the local food bank, resulting in the students learning good nutrition habits.
February’s partner was the Crawford County Red Cross, with the main theme focusing on disaster survival. The students made tie blankets for the disaster kits, which were put together during the February evening parent night program. Students also made valentines for their friends and family members and planned a valentine party. Students also received a visit from members of the Mansfield Astronomical Society; they brought their traveling planetarium so that the students could learn about the stars and planets.
March continued the students’ study of animals and included a visit from the local park district naturalist and a field trip to the local Alpaca farm.
Another component of the after-school program included parent and family education. Once a month family members of our students enrolled in the program were invited to the school for educational activities. Activities focused on a wide variety of topics that looked to improve family bonding and life styles. Items were also given to the families to take home for each theme.
In October the topic was home safety. The local police and fire departments, along with the State Highway Patrol, explained important safety issues; smoke detectors and a car seat were raffled as prizes.
In November a local Sheriff detective discussed technology safety with computers and phones. A list of helpful websites for homework was given to each family; they were able to investigate these sites with their students in the school computer lab. Families also received a flash drive, donated by North Central State College, to use at home for their files.
December focused on family fun with a spaghetti dinner, donated by the district’s food service department, and tickets to the varsity home-opening basketball game. Raffle prizes included cookie sheets and cookie mix so the families could bake holiday cookies together at home.
January’s theme was nutrition. The evening program included information about the local food bank with a casserole demonstration, healthy snacks made by a local 4-H member, My Plate healthy portions, a safe hand washing activity done by the local hospital’s infectious disease control office, as well as information regarding the district’s Future Chef Program. At the end of the evening, each family took home baking dishes, a casserole recipe and all the ingredients for that casserole so they could make the dish at home.
February’s theme was disaster preparedness. The local Red Cross presented information on possible local disasters and how to prepare for each if they were to strike residents in Bucyrus. Each family put together a disaster kit which included tie blankets made by the students during the after-school program. Raffle items included tool kits, a radio and a first aid kit.
March’s focus was on the importance of physical activity. The guest speaker was the director of the local YMCA. After the presentation, athletes from an array of Bucyrus High School sports teams demonstrated their skills; parents and students also got to participate in each of the sports. All families received a Frisbee or a utility ball to take home. Badminton sets were also raffled that evening.
The program’s culminating activity will feature a family picnic at the city park pavilion where all participants and program partner organizations will be invited for a free cook out; each family will be able to make their own ladder golf set to take home. Prizes will also be awarded for attendance to our evening family nights. Any family that attended 5 of the 7 events will receive a summer family pass to the city pool; any family that attended all 7 events will also receive an all expense paid trip to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland.
To learn more about the Bucyrus After-school Program, contact Mark Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-562-4045.