Here is the Thrive After 3 Presentation I created filled with tips on building successful after school programs. The biggest points I wanted to make in this presentation were:
- Don’t make it a book club (that means no homework!)
- Plan six-week sessions, meeting weekly. (Or mimic your storytime schedule and stretch it out to eight weeks.) Parents want their children scheduled, so accommodate them! Keep your day and time consistent, and families will make Monday their “Library Day.”
- Read the books! The kids will know if you didn’t, and they won’t want to come back if they know you’re not genuine in your endeavor.
- Tell the parents what you are doing. If the arts programs in your school district are cut, then tell parents that you’re filling that need.
This is a CLA Activity List paired together to create after school programming sessions, similar to the storytime structure. This list is three sessions (fall, winter, and spring) for two age groups (early elementary K-3), and upper elementary (4-6). The only activity I ran out of show-and-tell time for was the Hold Up the Sky Relay Race (for upper elementary). Read an excerpt from the Percy Jackson series. Give the children the Who’s Your Daddy? quiz and divide them up into teams based on their parent. Take two white garbage bags and fill them with puppets (or pillows, but I bet you have more puppets on hand) and those are the clouds. Have a relay race holding up the bags over their heads.
There are two pdf files of crafts: one for Early Elementary Sessions, one for Upper Elementary Sessions. Start out using storytime supplies. Once you build attendance, ask for more money or write grants to get supplies. (Remember, food should be at the very bottom of your expenses. You can always ask children to bring their own snack!)
This is the Brochure of programming. You can change out your own photos and text.
Here’s the “Hot Potato” song I used to play The Cheese Touch Game. It’s a song from the Iron Man soundtrack. I set up a microphone and kept pausing the CD to get the effect.
Thanks for coming! If you enjoyed this, I teach online programs through the ALA (Series Programming for School Aged Children, and a new class called Storytime Tools beginning in the fall 2013. They are both available for CEUs if you need them.) I also have an upcoming book titled After School Programs to Encourage Reading being published by the ALA due in September 2013. I’ll keep you posted!