ARCHS has formed new partnerships with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri and Saint Louis University to enhance the quality of programming in its After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) students.
Girl Scouts' BFF Program
The Girls Scouts are currently turning ASAP students into leaders through its character development curriculum, "Be a Friend First" (BFF), at five after school sites. BFF is an eight-week program created to help girls develop healthy relationship skills, understand relational aggression, and learn about conflict resolution and bullying prevention.
"After school programs are a great forum to reach girls for non-formal instruction. One of the aims of ASAP is to build student social and life skills and develop character," said Michelle Johnson, Grant Programs Manager for the Girls Scouts of Eastern Missouri.
Johnson believes BFF not only builds character, but it also helps strengthen self-confidence, identifies bully exclusive behaviors, teaches how to resolve conflicts peacefully and constructively, builds trusting relationships with classmates, and helps girls to feel empowered to create a culture of peace.
"Girls will work on a project of their own design to address bullying in their school and this kind of taking action is key to Girl Scouts -making the world a better place," Johnson said.
The program, which is based on the Girl Scouts national leadership curriculum, is currently being taught at ASAP after school sites at Adams Park Community Center, and Dunbar, Fairview, Hanrahan, and Mann elementary schools.
Saint Louis University's "1,000 Tickets Initiative"
ASAP after school students are going blue for winter through a new partnership that is providing tickets to Saint Louis Billikens men's basketball games.
Saint Louis University's "1,000 Tickets Initiative" reaches out to community organizations, and donates tickets to home basketball games at Chaifetz Arena
Since 2007, the After School for All Partnership (ASAP) has improved access to, and the quality of, after school programs across the St. Louis region. ARCHS has partnered with schools, faith-based/community organizations, and public/private funders to help lead this effort that annually serves more than 2,800 students.
Recently, ASAP has teamed up with such leading area organizations as the St. Louis Rams, Monsanto, and OASIS, to bring enhanced learning opportunities to students. Here is a summary of ASAP's 2012-2013 school year results:
- 7,362 academic support/enrichment activities
- 5,294 social and life skills activities
- 6,110 health and recreation activities
- 4,558 character development activities
- 896 parent and family involvement activities
- 86% of youth reported positive academic success
- 84% of youth reported positive life skills/choices & core values
- 90% of youth reported they enjoy exercise and recreation
- 93% of teachers, staff, and parents reported youth show academic improvements
- 98% of ASAP staff reported they will apply what they learned from ASAP's quarterly professional development trainings
- 95% of ASAP staff reported they learned new information from ASAP's quarterly professional development trainings.
ASAP after school students at Adams Park Community Center, Peabody Elementary School, and St. Frances Cabrini scored a touchdown in the National Football League's (NFL) Play60 Campaign with the St. Louis Rams on October 24, 2013. The team invited ASAP to the new St. Louis Rams Training Academy to take part in passing and catching drills, along with speed and footwork exercises. Staff also spoke to the after school students about being healthy and getting an adequate amount of exercise each day.
In October 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with an impressive roster of partner organizations. In addition to national outreach and online programs, NFL PLAY 60 is implemented at the grassroots level through NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. The NFL PLAY 60 initiative is prominent during the NFL's key calendar events, including Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, Draft, Kickoff and Thanksgiving and is supported by many NFL players and coaches year round. To date, the NFL has dedicated over $200 million to youth health and wellness through NFL PLAY 60.
A special thanks to the St. Louis Rams.
ASAP was proud to be one of 8,000 communities across the nation taking part in Lights On After School. The 14th annual event was held October 17, 2013 and featured more than one million Americans rallying for after school programs.
Dozens of ASAP programs participated in Lights On After School, hosting programs such as dance parties, board games and puzzles, pumpkin carving, arts and crafts, and much more!
Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and generates thousands of media clippings each year
Click here to see photos from Froebel, Hodgen, Meramec, and Peabody elementary schools.
Even during the summertime, ASAP at Neighborhood Houses is full of fun learning opportunities for students. From July 8 to 12, ASAP students visited Camp MoVal in Union, Missouri, whose peaceful remoteness was a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of St. Louis. Nestled between rolling, forested hills, the camp gave the ASAP youth the opportunity to do many things that they couldn’t in the city—hiking, stargazing, canoeing, paddleboating, swimming, and playing capture the flag among them.
Neighborhood Houses Site Coordinator Niesha Nelson said the youth learn responsibility and leadership, in addition to participating in activities different than watching television and playing electronics.
“If I had this opportunity as a child, what would that have done to me, Nelson said. “Coming from a low income family, we couldn’t afford camp, and then, knowing that these kids can come here and have the chance to come here for free, and it’s a wonderful thing that we’re able to provide.”
Gundia Lockclay, Site Coordinator at Neighborhood Houses, said the youth learn good values and how to communicate with one another.
“They learn how to get along with each other. They see things that they don’t normally see,” Lockclay said. “They get to make friends. They get to go places that they have never been before."