What is the greatest challenge to maintaining successful after-school programs?

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C. Anton (not verified)

Finding enough qualified

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Finding enough qualified instructors willing to work additional hours for about $19 per hour.
Marva Richards, Program Coordinator (not verified)

The BIGGEST problem facing

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The BIGGEST problem facing the Saturday enrichment program that I run is...ATTITUDE! The program I run has no funding problem - it is funded by the State. It has no shortage of applicants - parents hear about it and rush to get the application. I have no problems getting committed and qualified people to work with the students - our campus is filled with Graduate students who want to give back to society and who want to work with middle and highschool age children. We also have committed teachers who spend a great amount of time preparing lessons and coming up with materials and sources for great activities. However, when the students come here, they bring the same distractions they carried to school during the week. The cell phones, the ipods, the psps, the unbreakable habit of wanting to play and socialize instead of getting down to using the time wisely on the Project Based Learning that infuses our curriculum. I'm not that old that I do not remember how much I too wanted to have fun in school, (and the lengths to which I would go to get it) so we have constructed a program to provide students with ample means of interaction with each other and with many many opportunities to have FUN while engaged in meaningful learning. These students say they want to excel and go into rigorous professions, so why the resistance to doing the extra work -which is what it takes to be competitive? OLD ATTITUDES. They want instructors to tell them what to do, how and when to do it, and if there are no high stakes attached to it, (grades, transferable credits) then it must not be worth anything. The program is voluntary and there is no punishment, no tangible reward except the intrinsic joy of knowing that they are becoming independent learners - true scholars. Yet even though attandance is good, they refuse to DO THE WORK.
Malia Poai (not verified)

Producing and implementing

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Producing and implementing programs that are enriching and educational, but that are also fun and don't seem like a repeat of school.
Sandy Sanders (not verified)

Designing a program that

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Designing a program that encourages learning is difficult, also. The biggest problem, though, is finding qualified people to run the program on a consistent basis. Most of our students could benefit from a good after school program, but we are unable to recruit people to run it. For the most part, teachers in our system are over-worked due to the demands of No Child Left Behind and we cannot pay enough to attract other qualified people.
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