Fostering a connection between students’ experience during the school day and their after-school literacy program makes good sense. Developing an after-school literacy model that compliments and reinforces literacy development occurring during the day that is not perceived by the students as just "more school," is essential to motivation, engagement, and learning.
Appropriate programmatic connections can take multiple forms focusing on student academic performance and social development as well as curriculum. However, creating a productive connection between school day program and after-school is not always easy; it requires the time, energy, and focus of the school-based staff and the after-school staff. In settings where the day-school and after-school staff is common or overlaps the work is potentially easier. In environments where there is no staff overlap, establishing a useful connection will likely take longer and will require greater attention. With a realistic understanding of what is achievable at least in the short term, a clear plan of action, and persistence, programmatic connections can be fostered for the benefit of students.
Questions to Consider in Working to Establish a Programmatic Connection
Does the school have the interest/capacity to establish a programmatic after-school partnership?How might this be assessed?
If the school is interested, what are realistic areas to focus on?
Content areas (ELA, science, and social studies)?
If it is determined that the school is either not interested or not able to have a partnership that includes a programmatic connection, how can the after-school partner work to make a connection independently?
What can be learned about the curriculum without working directly with the school?