With this beautiful weather we have been having the last couple of days in Connecticut, all of the kids (and myself) in the before/after school programs have been dying to go outside and run around. When we were outside the other day, I saw one of the kindergartners looking frustrated. After talking to him, he expressed that he was jealous and scared of some of the older kids doing the monkey bars. He told me the last time he tried was last year and he fell. I told him about how many times I fell when I was first learning to ride my bike, but I got better and better with practice. I convinced him to give the monkey bars another try and to overcome his fear. Using some verbal and visual prompts, he was able to do all the monkey bars by himself by the end of the day! He was ecstatic with his accomplishment, and it reminded me how important it is to try new things and things that scare us. Also, how rewarding the outcome can be. I encourage everyone to try something new, or something that scares them. If you’re not feeling that outgoing, at least go outside and enjoy this weather!!
At many of our after school sites, the kids come in and try to get their homework done first thing. Today, several of them did not have any homework to my surprise being a Tuesday. I decided to give the kids a brain teaser. I wrote down on a piece of paper “WHAT” going vertically up, and “MUST” right next to it, written downward. I told the group of kids with no homework that if they could figure out what this meant, I would reward a prize to the person (or group). This got them very interested and at the same time helped the kids with homework have a little quiet time to work! After a few helpful hints (drawing arrows, saying it’s a six-word sentence, tossing a tennis ball in the air) they figured it out as a group! It was awesome to see the different aged kids work as a group- brainstorming ideas and using my hints. They collectively learned some basic physics- “what goes up, must come down”.
About a week ago, I was stopped by someone I did not recognized during an after school program at a school site. The lady, who seemed a little lost, asked me for some information on signing their child up for the school-they were new in town. I did my best to direct her to the office and assist her in gathering all the information she needed on the school and registration. Days later, I received an email from my supervisor saying she had called looking to sign her daughter up for the YMCA program at the site! She had mentioned that I was very helpful and had liked what she saw from our after school program. Glad I could help our growing community!! -BT