Research increasingly indicates that the addition of mindfulness through activities like meditation and yoga in after school programs benefits youth SEL outcomes.
Matthew Speicher, an AlphaBEST after school program site director, took notice. He offers club yoga time at the end of the day—an opportunity, he says, for children to re-center their minds and bodies.
“We’ve also introduced some time in our day for the kids to do some deep breathing exercises,” said Speicher, who shared that he struggled with anxiety as a child and still works to manage it today. “I’ve learned how to cope with my anxiety by taking deep breaths and taking some time for mediation.”
Researchers at Harvard reviewed after school programs research and concluded that quality after school programs “foster inquiry, critical thinking, and engagement in learning,” and that these programs are “uniquely poised to support in-school learning and development without replicating the school day.” (Little et al., 2008, p. 10).
Miller (2003) reviewed research on after school programs for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and found that learning activities anchored in the 4 Cs of a 21st century curriculum—creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking—in an after school enrichment program can enhance the academic, personal, and social skills of both children and adolescents.
Honoring Our Team During After School Appreciation Week
In honor of After School Professionals Appreciation Week, AlphaBEST Education would like to thank all of those who are dedicated to providing quality after school programs to students across the nation. We’ve selected several of our team members to spotlight for exemplifying the AlphaBEST core values. We appreciate you!
London was buzzing at the end of January as the 2019 BETT show once again brought together hundreds of leading companies and startups, as well as tens of thousands of members of the global education community. AlphaBEST CEO, Judy Nee, was there and soaking up all there was to see and learn in the realm of fresh and innovative educational technologies.
“We go into these shows really keeping an eye out for what’s on the edge of innovation relating to technology programs for kids,” said Nee, who noted that seeking out new products and staying abreast of what’s on the horizon is vital.
Read more here.
Green Mouse Academy (GMA)—a longtime AlphaBEST partner—has worked since 2010 to provide current and cutting-edge technology arts enrichment to AlphaBEST students. Through their team, AlphaBEST students participate in weekly enrichment activities that include coding, robotics, stop-motion animation and FIRST LEGO League Jr. challenges.
FIRST LEGO League Jr. is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love—LEGO®. In 2016, GMA and AlphaBEST decided to take a further step to enhance the student experience by implementing a discovery form of the FIRST LEGO League Jr. program as a core Technology Arts experience.
Read more here
FableVision, an award-winning educational media and storytelling studio, to partner with AlphaBEST Education, the leading provider of after school and summer enrichment-based programming, to develop a story-themed summer camp program featuring best-selling author/illustrator duo Paul and Peter H. Reynolds’ book Going Places about creativity and invention.
AlphaBEST Education, a leading provider of after school and summer programs, and FableVision, an award-winning, educational media and storytelling company, have announced the development of the “Going Places” Summer Camp featuring the award-winning book by FableVision’s founders and twin brothers Paul and Peter H. Reynolds. The program will offer engaging, immersive activities and challenges based on the book’s themes, which illustrate the critical life skills advocated by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning – known as the “4Cs” – communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
Read more here
Forbes named AlphaBEST Education a Best Employer For New Grads. AlphaBEST is ranked #121 of 250 companies included on the list. Other companies recognized include LinkedIn, JetBlue Airways, and Google.
AlphaBEST was the only after school enrichment company to be named among the top 200 companies on the list.
“We’re incredibly proud to be recognized as a Forbes Best Employer For New Grads,” said Judy Nee, CEO of AlphaBEST, which employs more than 1,800 employees. “We work to develop curriculum that sets the bar within the world of after school, but without amazing employees to deliver that curriculum, we fall short. We know recruiting – and keeping – top talent is key for us to continue to bring best-in-class programs to our school district partners and families across the country.”
This is the first year Forbes has issued its Best Employers For New Grads list, partnering with Statista to anonymously survey 10,000 Americans with less than a decade of professional experience who work for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. Survey participants were asked to rank companies on criteria including salary, how likely they’d be to recommend the organization to others, and working conditions, and they were also encouraged to nominate other employers within their industry to be considered for the list.
The full Forbes 2018 Best Employers For New Grads list can be found here.
Read our full press release here.