Nearly 7.7 U.S. children participate in after-school programs, but not all after-school programs are created equal. Finding an after-school program that helps your student further develop what they learn during the school day is challenging, and finding one that is affordable can be even more difficult. But if you are a resident of Oakland Park, a new grant the City recently earned is helping make after-school programs more accessible.
The City of Oakland Park has recently received a grant for a new, interactive after-school program called MOST (Maximizing Out of School Time). MOST will not only keep your children busy as you finish your workday, but it will also focus on positively impacting your child’s health and learning.
MOST, which stands for Maximizing Out of School Time, is a new after-school program that started in Oakland Park at the beginning of the 2022 school year. Children ages 5 to 12 years old can attend.
“The Maximizing Out of School Time (MOST) program reinforces the learning experiences that children have in elementary school,” said Chris Casale, Assistant Director, Parks and Leisure Services. “The children are taught a variety of academic subjects to build strong skills in math, reading, science, diversity, and nutrition. The well-rounded program also includes daily academics, fitness, cultural arts, homework assistance, and educational and recreational field trips.”
The program offers homework assistance and curriculum in cultural arts, math, nutrition, science, and E-gaming/technology. On public school holidays, the children attend recreational field trips to go roller skating, bowling, visit the Zoo Miami, and even cool down on a warm day at the water park.
According to the City of Oakland Park, “the idea behind the program is to provide a well-rounded and enriching experience for children in our community.” They hope the students have a rewarding social and cultural experience as they enhance their math, reading, and science skills outside of the classroom setting.
Bridgette Pierce, Sara Annakie, Steven Mattair and Brian Collier from Oakland Park’s Parks and Leisure Services department learned of the grant opportunity to assist elementary school students in Title I schools, and decided to take action. They worked closely with staff at the Broward County Children Services Council and Lloyd Estates Elementary School to apply for the grant to assist children and families in our community. In June of 2022 they found out the grant had been approved.
The grant funding for the MOST program will assist families with the cost of after-care. Assistance is determined based on the family’s income and the number of children in the household who will be attending the program.
If your child participates in an after-school program, they are spending a huge chunk of their young lives at school or participating in school-related activities. As a result, the type of after-school program you choose for them can have a huge impact on their personal development, academic success, and social skills.
Out of School Time (OST) refers to a supervised program that young students can attend when school is not in session, including both before-and-after-school programs. There are many kinds of OST programs available throughout the country, including childcare and youth development, as well as special interest activities such as sports clubs, arts programs, and robotics groups. Many OST programs have made physical activity, nutritious foods, and educational assistance part of their programs to support a whole-child approach.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OST programs can support academic achievement, reduce health disparities, and even improve the personal and social skills of young people.
The engaging after-school program is held at Lloyd Estates Elementary School after school, Monday to Friday, from 1:45 to 6:00 p.m. To enroll your child, apply for tuition assistance, or learn more information about the program, you can visit City Hall at 3650 NE 12 Avenue Oakland Park, Florida 33334, or call 954-630-4500 Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cassidy Webb is a Texas native and South Florida transplant. She grew up just outside of Dallas, TX, and moved to South Florida four years ago. She now considers Fort Lauderdale her home.
Cassidy is the project manager at a small digital marketing company and she enjoys freelance writing on the side. In her free time, you can catch her exploring local parks or taking long walks through the neighborhood with her dog, Bella.