A few years ago, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills released a list of four skills they determined as being necessary for success (in college, career, and citizenship) for students today. AlphaBEST sees the critical importance of these skills, and so we’ve incorporated the 4C’s into our curriculum, ensuring that students will be given the chance to hone all four of these skills while they’re part of our programming.
The 4C’s are:
1. Communication – sharing thoughts, questions, ideas, and solutions
2. Collaboration – working together to reach a goal – putting talent, expertise, and smarts to work
3. Critical Thinking – looking at problems in a new way, linking learning across subjects and disciplines
4. Creativity – trying new approaches to get things done equals innovation and invention
After school is the ideal time to engage students in curriculum that is rich in the 4C’s, which is why AlphaBEST fosters these skills in all we do!
At AlphaBEST, we value movement — and not just because getting energy out is important after a long day in the classroom.
Not only can fitness improve students’ memory and learning, there’s also a connection between physical activity and the development of the structure of the brain during childhood.
“Researchers…found that physical activity is also associated with improved white matter integrity. In two separate studies…researchers found that physical activity improved the white matter integrity of physically fit children aged 9 to 10. White matter integrity is linked to faster neural conduction between brain regions and superior cognitive performance.” – Psychology Today, “Why Is Physical Activity So Good for Your Brain?”, September 2014
We keep students moving at AlphaBEST with activities like tennis, basketball, Sabakiball, four square, and more!
At AlphaBEST, we aim to be true partners to the families and school district we serve. We want to be part of your community, and take seriously our responsibility to be part of our students’ lives.
Part of this partnership means helping our students get their homework done at AlphaBEST every day so that evenings are smoother and easier once everyone is home. That’s why we prioritize homework time daily.
Each day at our program, your child is given time to complete homework (and ask our staff questions in the process). And if your child either doesn’t have homework or finishes early, we have fun, educational activities for him or her to participate in while the other students work on their homework.
Did you know that more than 22,000 families across 11 states use AlphaBEST as their trusted provider for extended day programs? It’s all thanks to our family and school district partners! Because they put their trust in AlphaBEST every day after school, we have been able to share our programs with more students in more school districts across the country.
AlphaBEST has been serving schools and families since 2005, and since then we’ve grown our programs, staff, curriculum, and students to become a leader in the after school space. Just as we value the safety and well-being of the students in our programs, AlphaBEST also values our partnership with each school, recognizing we are a guest in their space! We currently operate in over 320 elementary and middle schools, and those partnerships are extremely important to us. AlphaBEST is proud to say we’ve never we’ve never lost a school district partner in 12 years of operation, and we hold that merit in high regard.
AlphaBEST is a place that fuses learning and fun in all we do, and we are proud to be a leader in the after school field. We partner with cutting-edge providers to craft our engaging curriculum, and work hard to foster strong relationships with our students, families, school district partners, and among our employees.
However, we realized recently that our Mission and Vision statements – which are meant to define us, challenge us, and guide us – had become outdated, and that we also needed a strong set of Core Values that we could all rally around. We embarked on a project to update these things, talking with our employees as well as several parents and district partners in the process, and are extremely excited about where we landed. We wanted to share those with you today!:
Mission Statement: To partner with schools and families to engage children’s minds, expand their horizons, and provide parents with a sense of security.
Vision Statement: To lead the way in shaping the future generation to be problem solvers and collaborators, to be thoughtful and curious, by showing them that learning can be fun, engaging, and can happen anywhere. To achieve this goal, we set the bar for out-of-school time programs.
• We put children first. We take seriously our responsibility for influencing and educating thousands of students across the country every single day, arming them with skills they’ll use their whole lives.
• We value connection. AlphaBEST fosters connection: between employees, with our school and district partners, and with the families we serve. We’ve created an environment that encourages experimentation, collaboration, and teamwork.
• We are driven by innovation. We not only embrace change – we drive it. By keeping a pulse on the latest educational developments, we implement cutting-edge curriculum that is as fun and engaging as it is innovative and skill building.
• We are the BEST at what we do. Our commitment to continuous improvement allows us to deliver the highest quality of service.
• We lead with a “yes” mindset. We’re committed to extreme customer focus! We challenge ourselves to step outside our comfort zones and to have a can-do attitude.
• We make it right. We aren’t perfect, but we do aim to respond perfectly. When things don’t go as planned, we double down and make sure the situation is handled seamlessly – and that we learn from those missteps and avoid them going forward.
• We have fun. Our programs are structured to keep engagement front and center by fusing fun with learning in everything we do. We embrace the adage that education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — is a tenet of our curriculum, and is a big buzzword in education today.
But why is it so emphasized?
Research shows that engaging in STEM-based activities helps kids with skills like creativity and flexibility, and it helps prepare them for a future career. In the next decade, 80% of all jobs will require technical skills, and we want to ensure all AlphaBEST students are prepared accordingly.
The annual WorkHuman HR conference is focused around connection and making the workplace a welcoming, inclusive environment where people are encouraged to be themselves. AlphaBEST has attended this conference for a couple of years now, and this year were honored to be included among the collection of noteworthy speakers who shared their wisdom, research, and insights in Austin, Texas, this past April. The 2018 speakers included Brené Brown, Simon Sinek, Amal Clooney, and Ashley Judd.
AlphaBEST was represented by our CEO, Judy Nee, and COO, Heather Alfonso, who shared tools and initiatives our organization has introduced to make AlphaBEST a more human-centric place to work. Some of those initiatives include replacing the traditional once-a-year review with ongoing coaching sessions to help team members grow and feel supported, introducing a set of Core Values we can all rally around, and implementing technology that helps us feel more connected, despite being spread across multiple states and school/office locations.
“It was truly an honor to be able to speak at this year’s WorkHuman conference, and Heather and I were thrilled to be able to share some of the things we’ve focused on in recent months to make AlphaBEST a place that’s even more inviting and supportive,” said Judy.