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ASAP After School Programs Earning Recognition

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The ASAP after school program at Dunbar Elementary is combating the notion that science is just an abstract concept in a textbook by expanding its learning of the subject for students through a grant from Monsanto.

This past May, Monsanto presented the ASAP program at Dunbar with a $1,000 Dannette Ward Science Education grant. The grant will be used to support the science and literacy based program Quirkles for after school students, which uses funny characters to explain scientific concepts through short stories and teach fun and engaging science experiments. Students will make slime and Play-Doh, and read stories that help with their phonics.

ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area.

“The program is great for students and facilitators because you don't have to be a science teacher to help students learn,” said Dunbar Site Director LaKesia Richmond-Brooks. “The story I was introduced to was Gilbert Gas; he talked about how much he liked grape soda and how they used carbon to make it.  One of the experiments demonstrated was how carbon dioxide in an Alka-Seltzer tablet can make a top pop off a film canister; this experiment was even fun and engaging for the adults in the ARCHS training.”

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ARCHS' OASIS Partnership Brings CATCH Healthy Habits to After School

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The After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) and ARCHS are expanding a program with OASIS to bring students and adults over the age of 50 together to learn about healthy eating and physical activity habits.

OASIS' CATCH Healthy Habits works with children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade to lead fun, active games, share healthy snacks, and learn about healthy food choices. Two ASAP sites (Adams Park Community Center and Fairview Elementary School) used the program this past school year and two additional ASAP sites will implement the program during the next school year.

"We could not have found a better partner than ARCHS, whose extensive community-based youth services has enabled us to serve more students in grades kindergarten through fifth and help engage more adult community members throughout the St. Louis metro area," said CATCH Healthy Habits National Coordinator Peter Holtgrave. "We know that our volunteers are in good hands working with ASAP's expert staff, who provide the kind of nurturing, structured, and fun environment that allows CATCH Healthy Habits to be a rewarding, successful experience for students and volunteers alike."

ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area.

As obesity rates in America have tripled for children and doubled for older adults in the last 30 years, with nearly one in three children being overweight, CATCH Healthy Habits plays an important role in combating unhealthy trends by engaging adults as mentors. While OASIS mentors promote healthy habits for the students, they also benefit from better nutrition and increased exercise, in addition to experiencing  the rewards of meaningful community service as a volunteer.

"It is truly amazing to see the impact of this intergenerational program for both the youth and the adult participants. Older adults have so much knowledge and experience to share with today's youth, and the children appreciate the support of trusting, caring adults who are concerned about their health and well-being," said CATCH Healthy Habits Local Coordinator Shelby Schroeder. "CATCH Healthy Habits is about learning how to live a healthy lifestyle everyday, but also about the importance of relationships and respecting yourself, your peers, and people of all ages."

PHOTO GALLERY: CATCH Healthy Habits at Adams Park

ASAP Students to Receive STEM Education Through Monsanto Partnership

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ARCHS is partnering with Monsanto to promote science in after school as an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education continues to grow.

Monsanto's Science Education Outreach Program will offer hands-on demonstrations for After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) students. ASAP students in 34 schools will benefit greatly from the expertise of Monsanto's scientists to encourage STEM learning. Monsanto plans to visit all ASAP sites by December 2013.

ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area.

"We are very excited that ASAP students will receive this great opportunity to learn from science professionals at Monsanto," said ARCHS' Vice President of K-12 Programs Kristy Kight. "There is a growing focus on STEM learning in the school day environment, so for after school students to be further engaged in science by experts such as Monsanto staff is a great benefit for ASAP programs."

The Monsanto Science Education Outreach offers 10 programs focused around STEM education, such as States of Matter & Chemistry Fun, Chromatography, Black Light Fun, Chlorophyll: The Power of Plants, How Fast Does that Plant Grow, and more.

Maggie Cole, a member of ARCHS' Board of Directors and the Global Manufacturing Sustainability Lead at Monsanto, assisted in bringing the two organizations together to provide the STEM educational opportunities for ASAP.

"Being on the Board of Directors for ARCHS has given me another avenue to link this community resource where there could be value," Cole said. "The ASAP program provides a great way for Monsanto to reach future scientists in the St. Louis region."

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ASAP Students Spread the Love on Valentine's Day

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Did you get a Valentine from a special somebody?

Well, parents of ASAP students at St. Louis the King were lucky enough to have special little Valentines as the kids made cards to celebrate the day! The after school students made Valentine's Day birds and cards to give to their parents, and were eager to go home to share them.

Also, ASAP students at Lexington Elementary celebrated Valentine's Day with a dance party, snacks, and face painting!

The ASAP after school program at St. Louis the King is operated by the YWCA, and the program at Lexington is operated by Provident, Inc.

ASAP Students Play60 with the St. Louis Rams

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ASAP after school sites at Adams Park Community Center, Cote Brilliante Elementary, Dunbar Elementary, Farragut Elementary, and Herzog Elementary were given the opportunity to participate in the National Football League's (NFL) Play60 Campaign with the St. Louis Rams on November 27.

Rams' kicker Greg Zuerlein and linebacker Justin Cole spoke to the ASAP students about the importance of fitness, and even took part in some of the activities with the children!

Play60 is "designed to tackle childhood obesity, and 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."

ARCHS and ASAP thanks the Rams for their support!