Decades ago, education consisted of a single teacher in a one-room schoolhouse filled with kids of all ages, while After School programs didn’t exist. Physical activity programs involved simple free play out in a field. Thankfully, schools and curriculums have evolved over time. Single-room schoolhouses grew into schools divided by similar age groups, and physical activity programs evolved from playground time to physical education classes. After School programs emerged, combining study and tutoring time with social interaction and physical activity in a safe, chaperoned environment.
In a school setting, the physical education teacher has a degree and experience teaching physical activity. But that’s not always the case with the instructors that work directly with children in an After School program. The knowledge or experience working with large groups of children of all ages and abilities in a physical activity setting can be quite overwhelming. The resources may exist, but connecting the resources to the instructors for physical activity success can be challenging.
Skillastics® Physical Activity Programs were created to fill the void, providing After School instructors with the tools they need to teach physical activity effectively. But what makes an effective program? And what is it that makes Skillastics not just one choice, but the best choice?
A well-rounded program is very kid-centric, focusing on the needs of the child–as it should be. But we’d take it a step further and point out that the resource has to add additional value. Skillastics adds additional value by bridging the gap between identifying and teaching what children need, PLUS providing useful resources for the After School instructor that makes their job easier.
Great for kids
At first glance, a Skillastics® Activity Kit might just look like a super fun way to pass the time and work in physical activity into your schedule. However, it offers so much more.
- Our program is scalable and maximizes participation, ensuring all kids can play at the same time. It’s no fun to stand around waiting for your turn, watching other kids play due to limited participant sizing. With our Skillastics Activity Kits, multiple groups play at the same time, ensuring all kids are participating in the activity.
- Our programs include step-by-step lesson plans. When everything is laid out for an After School instructor, they are more apt to apply it. This reduces the frustration and increases the likelihood that the students will receive quality physical activity instruction.
- Skillastics® encourages self-management. This includes everything from self-control while waiting for the activity to be set up, to personal goal setting within activities. One of the most appreciated features of our programs is how quickly they can be set up. In just a minute or two, you can have our programs set up and running. As kids begin to use the programs, they’ll quickly acclimate to the amount of time needed for set up, and be ready to play. In addition, our Digital Specialty Programming offers activities such as martial arts and belt advancement levels, where kids can build upon previously earned levels to achieve personal goals and hone new skills.
- Our programs are non-competitive. Instead of teaching kids how to compete with others, we focus on physical activity enjoyment, in an all-inclusive, fun environment. We encourage kids to develop their own skills, becoming their best version of themselves. The relaxed atmosphere ensures that even when kids need additional guidance or instruction, it can be received in a non-threatening environment. There are; however, fun, competitive options to include when the students are ready.
Effective resource for After School Directors
We’ve talked about why kids will love it. It’s high-energy, offers dozens of options, and gets kids up and moving, and actively involved. But now, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of why Skillastics® is the best resource you’ll own as a program director: implementation. The Skillastics Physical Activity Program helps your staff manage their time more effectively, making their job easier and more productive. It’s super easy to get started, AND they transform students' attitudes about physical activity.
- Skillastics® can be used by anyone, from full-time staff to a substitute. Instructions are easy to understand, programs are set up within minutes, and includes a personalized online dashboard with training and additional resources to help them utilize the Skillastics Physical Activity Program.
- Skillastics® integrates seamlessly with academic requirements for vocabulary, literacy, and STEM learning. You can even connect with classroom teachers using the Skillastics® Custom Question Card Templates. Classroom teachers can share questions on current study topics that After School instructors can integrate into their lessons, reinforcing learning and building those brain connections!
- Ready-made 36-week curriculum outline is provided. That means you don’t have to build, create, or reinvent the wheel when it comes to planning activity time. It also means if you need a substitute, or have limited staffing during transitional times, the ready-made system ensures you aren’t losing instruction time trying to figure out a complicated system or train the new person. Just look at the Skillastics outline and start!
- Structured, organized lessons plans and activities incorporate national standards for physical education including skill-building, leadership, group dynamics, and teamwork. Administration loves that the activities provided are aligned with national standards.
Compared to 100 years ago, there are a lot more resources available to educators and directors today. But don’t just pick any resource. The best resources are the ones your staff will love to use, the ones they’ll reach for over and over again! Choose one that’s fun for kids, scalable for large groups, aligned with national standards, and easy to implement right out of the box.
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