CLACE understandsthat family involvement is monumental as they are crucial in making a difference in their children’s learning. Family involvement in after-school programs is just as important. The success of CLACE’s after-school program is possible thanks to family and community involvement, we have also established great long term collaborations upon parent and community volunteers such as the HOLA Foundation team, higher grade students who mentor younger students, as well as undergrad, and grad students from CU Boulder.
CLACE’s families are involved in program and events planning. Our programs are designed to include families and children in the planning, this helps us draw greater support from participants and their families and from the community at large. These programs are always more fun, culturally relevant, and linked to activities that capture children’s and adolescents’ interests. We seek to involve parents in orientation sessions, workshops, volunteer opportunities, parent advisory committees, and, as possible, in a wide range of adult learning opportunities, such as Yoga and Meditation, Nutrition, Zumba and Wellness, outdoors activities, outlings and of course, STEM classes.
Attending to the needs of working parents. Several of our programs are aware that parents with the children, have scheduling conflicts. We design programs that are sensitive to the schedules and requirements of working parents. In addition, learning and recreation activities are developed for during summer breaks for the children of working parents and others.
Making after-school programs affordable. Cost is an important factor for working families. Good programs make accommodations for the likelihood of enrolling more than one child in an after-school program (or programs) and work hard to design cost-effective programs that can meet the needs of elementary school children, as well as junior high school students. Accommodations for multi-age siblings, whether by serving many age groups directly in the same after-school program, or arranging for linked, age-specific programs is critical. The key is not necessarily that siblings be in the same program, but rather that all children in a family can be served by an after-school program in a convenient and cost-effective manner.
Tending to transportation. In addition to meeting scheduling and cost needs, programs can ease parent stress we work with our partners who can help us provide transportation to and from the before- and after-school programs. Transportation is a major cost for an extended day program, but one that is especially a safety and logistical concern for families.