Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending a session at The Atlantic Education Summit on Creating Pathways for Success. During the session, I was reminded of how important the work of In Reach, Inc., and nonprofits like In Reach are to the schools and communities we work in - before, during, after school, and on weekends too!
While our school-based afterschool programs primarily focused on strengthening reading and math skills, they provided so much more in enrichment. From social and emotional, mental and physical health activities like yoga and meditation to bringing the zoo to the school, In Reach’s amazing afterschool staff, usually teachers at the schools where our programs were based, was able to do in the evening hours activities that teachers just would not be able to include during the day.
In Reach enjoyed supporting the learning community in every way. Connecting to families through our family academy activities such as English as a Second Language classes, CPR training, and holding a Mind in the Making reading series allowed us to pour into our families with resources that would forever be valuable to them. While we no longer provide afterschool programming, this is where our heart will always be and the need for these types of programs whether held in the school or the community are needed even more today as the pandemic has severely impacted students and families already struggling.
The beauty of afterschool is that we can think broadly about how to educate and support students and families. There are so many options. We are only limited by how narrowly we think. We salute all of the after school programs making a difference, their amazing staff, and every single person involved in bringing the programs to life. It truly takes a village.