I have learned that the NYC Public Schools do offer a small number of children the opportunity to engage in an “After School Program ” (ASP)–until approximately 6 PM weekdays. The children can do their homewoprk and engage in various social activities in a supervised environment.
The program is advantageous for parents and children–who are chosen. However, therein lies the problem, as I envision it: there is only availability for a small percentage of attendees of the school to particiipate in the ASP. Ergo, most youngsters are left out, since only approximately 50, chosen through lottery fastion, are selected…
I am intimately familiar with two chidren who were not selected, and two who were…And the following are my personal observations and conclusions:
Children (who are born self-centered beings) are not able to psychologically accept that they have not been chosen via the “lottery” to be in a program with peers to engage in fun activities; while others with whom they attend classes–have been…No matter how precocious a 9, 10 or 11 year old may be: that early developing brain function precludes charitability.
Since, it would seem likely that certain parents possess the need for ASP, primarily because they work outside the home during those after school hours, and do not want their children to be alone; it would seem appropriate to choose which children enter the ASP, pursuant to such need…Parents should be requested to respond to a brief questionnaire.
It is also my conclusion that very young children–perhaps those in kindergarten and first grade–not be considered applicants; because the program increases such young children’s day to approximately 10 hours, with no place for napping. That is a very long day for a 5 or 6 year old child, and although he or she may like it–the health of the infant is subject to undue stress…
For those families whose children would benefit from the ASP; it would seem that college students–particularly those studying primary education, psychology, sociology, and medicine–could greatly benefit from the experience of interacting with children in such program (perhaps) once weekly.
The participants could be offered academic credit, free textbooks, or some other form of compensation that does not seriously erode the City’s education budget.
Thus, no “lottery” need be implemented–as the building that suffices to house the student population for daily academic purposes, could also suffice for after school activities–and no age appropriate children need be excluded.
Imagination is a very healthy faculty to exercise (for children and adults)…
Nancy Joyce Jancourtz.