What began nearly twenty years ago as an effort to address a concern about “latchkey kids”, children and youth who returned to empty homes when the school day ended, has grown into a myriad of additional learning opportunities that not only fill a student’s metaphorical bucket with knowledge, but also light a fire for lifelong learning.
We know that today’s young people in every part of Wisconsin need to know more and be able to do more if they are to succeed in a highly-technical and international workforce. The hours after school and during the summer present a great opportunity to better prepare students academically, socially and civically. At the same time, expanded learning opportunities are proven to decrease the achievement gap that leaves too many Wisconsin youth without the skills they need to be successful in the long run.
Expanded learning opportunities such as those provided via the partnership between the Green Bay Area Public School District and the Boys & Girls Club keep young people safe, help working families, and help students succeed in school and life. The benefits are clear and well documented – now we need to continue our efforts to find ways to collaboratively offer more opportunities such as Be GREAT, Graduate and our successful 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool program partnership.
Together we can ensure that all students can make the best use of afterschool and summer hours to complement and strengthen what they are learning in school, to build social skills they need to succeed, and to explore the wide world around them and find the spark that will make them ready to take on the world.
Stan Kocos- Extended Learning Coordinator, Green Bay Area Public School District