What Parents and Students Look For In After-School Activities


According to the Afterschool Alliance, access to after-school programming is a barrier for the African-American community. Affordability is a huge issue that stems from the ever-present systemic racism in education. Fortunately, non-profit after-school programs such as The Village Method are dedicated to promoting anti-racist teaching and also to bringing after-school opportunities to those who need them the most.

There is a definitive race gap in exposure to after-school programs that reduces positive outcomes. Anti-racist teaching is what most parents and students seek when researching after-school activities. Low-income families continue to have a hard time ensuring that their young ones are safe during after-school hours. Let’s offer them the chance to access extracurricular activities that reduce risky behaviors and increase academic achievement!

In today’s article, we’re going to take a closer look at what both parents and students tend to search for when looking to join various after-school activities. By pinpointing those details with precision, we might have a chance to help anti-racist after-school programs discover a better approach. Read on!

#1: After-School Activities That Actively Promote Anti-Racist Teaching

Anti-racist education, or inclusive teaching, is the practice of acknowledging and celebrating the cultural differences among the students and their families. For the longest time, African-American parents and their young scholars have felt disregarded and treated unfairly. 

Most parents of color feel that their input is not valued as it should be. Their expertise in regards to their children seems to be repeatedly swiped under the rug in favor of that of the educators. Not only does this affect child development and student achievement levels, but it further perpetuates white supremacy and systemic racism in education. 

Anti-racist educators should be disruptors and catalysts for deeper change. Conversations about race during family engagement activities should never be forbidden, but instead encouraged and debated at length. By doing this, the children’s critical thinking skills will improve and innovative ideas will arise when figuring out how to best deal with systemic racism in education.

#2: After-School Activities That Teach Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills

Prosocial behavior needs to be an integral part of early childhood education. Our young scholars and their parents want to ensure that their futures become less uncertain. The 5 core SEL competencies were specifically designed to aid anti-racist educators and make the most of after-school time in terms of productivity. 

College success and career skills are both must-haves for any young scholar who wants to turn their dreams into reality. After-school activities must positively impact the long-term behavior of our youth. Responsible decision-making, empathy, and self-awareness are key components that can help the kids get involved and feel a sense of community alongside their peers and teachers.

#3: After-School Activities That Prioritize Educational Equity

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It’s no secret that racial and economic disparities are present in the lives of each African-American student. Critical Race Theory scholars such as Derrick Albert Bell Jr. were adamant about exposing just how ingrained racism is in the fabric of our society. Education is no exception. Did you know that 89% of Washington teachers are white?

Black families look for culturally affirming, equitable, and affordable after-school programs that encourage our kids to ask difficult questions and receive the answers they deserve to hear. Ignoring the issue of systemic racism in education won’t make it go away. It will only perpetuate injustice inside and outside the classroom. Thankfully, anti-racist educators are well-aware of this harmful phenomenon.

Educational equity is interrelated with family engagement activities. When schools silence the voices of the parents, after-school activities must turn up the volume and promote respect and empowerment. These two are what are currently missing from most school districts in the United States.

#4: After-School Activities That Celebrate Black Culture

Imagine this ━ Black History Month commences. Our children become familiar with popular topics on the subject of Black history while at school. As soon as the month reaches its end, they go right back to the usual curriculum. What if we told you that Black culture deserves to be celebrated all year round?

After-school programs that describe themselves as culturally affirming and empowering must find ways to engage students and parents of color regardless of the time of the year. It’s time to provide our children with reasons to bask in the glory of our people’s achievements for the entirety of the year. It’s always fun to explore and participate in activities that keep the African-American spirit alive and unscathed. 

Are You Currently Looking for Inclusive After-School Activities?

Then we kindly ask you to look no further! The Village Method’s core mission is to provide our youth and their families with anti-racist education at its finest. We are a community-based grassroots organization that wants to see the children excel academically, socially, and emotionally.

To achieve this, we offer culturally responsive Youth Development, Family Engagement activities, and Community Outreach programming in South Alameda County. It takes a village to raise a child, right? You too can get involved now and help us build villages of self-aware, intelligent, and empowered children!

ScholarPrep Nation

ScholarPrep Nation is a college access program that arms scholars with a wide variety of tools and resources to help them navigate their high school journey and understand all of the post-high school opportunities available to them

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