Recent after school violence between middle school students in the courtyard has spiked the idea of starting an after-school program. The students need to be kept busy from the time school gets out and their parents getting home from work. This will be a great opportunity for the students to be able to work together, as well as grow and mature through character building activities.
After-school programs help the students to develop competencies enabling them to mature healthily, as well as develop skills throughout youth in order to become responsible young adults (Networks, 1998). Our school looks to be able to create a program in order enhance character development amongst the students. As of recently, our ultimate goal is to allow our learners to become responsible not only within school, but outside as well. According to Gill & Williams (2008), a program will allow character development in physical activity if the program itself is designed for that specific purpose.
The character building program being proposed to the principal is a semester long progression offered to only middle school aged students. This specific program incorporates community and family involvement, mentoring, conflict resolution, as well as diversity (Champions, 2010). There will be community wide opportunities throughout the semester including raking leaves, fun runs, cleanup efforts, and food drives. High school students will volunteer their time to mentor the middle school students with their homework as well as sharing experiences with each other. Peer counselors will be assigned each week in order to have someone to turn to and enable them to learn from one another on how to solve issues amongst themselves. Being a public school, multicultural learning will also be incorporated into the program. Every two weeks, the students will be educated on a new multicultural physical activity and will enable them to teach themselves the rules and play activities focused on diversity throughout the world.
This youth development program will not only allow the students to develop stronger skills, but to also boost their confidence and allow them to foresee a future for themselves. By building their character and connections with other people, an environment will be created allowing support and empowerment amongst the students (Roth & Brooks-Gunn, 2003).
Champions Academy, (2010). Champions extended learning programs. Retrieved from http://www.discoverchampions.com/main/do/Home
Gill, D., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise (3rd edition). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Networks for Youth Development: A Guided Tour of Youth Development (2nd edition). The Fund for the City of New York, New York (1998).
Roth, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003). Youth development programs: risk, prevention and policy. Journal of Adolescent Health, 32(3), pp. 170-182.Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/ doi: 10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00421-4