The Benefits of After School Enrichment Programs
When Kelani was six, she watched her grandmother sew quilts on an old-fashioned sewing machine and became fascinated. She asked her mother to teach her to sew and quickly her passion and skills grew. Kelani’s mother signed her up for a local sewing class after school– this was what she needed to thrive in many areas.
While she had been a shy and anxious child, Kelani quickly found a group of peers who shared her interests and love of fashion in her after school classes. Her confidence grew, not just in sewing, but in all areas like social skills, perseverance and emotional regulation. Now, Kelani is on her way to NYU to study fashion design.
What is Enrichment?
Engaging in traditional curriculum with subjects like math, science, and reading is important, but there is something to be said for activities that go beyond the standard program. Enrichment– classes and activities not typically held during the school day– hold great power in shaping the lives of children by providing them with unique opportunities for growth and development. These Enrichment, or After School, activities could be general, like music or sports, or they could be very specialized, like fashion or puppet design.
The Purpose of Enrichment
Enrichment activities allow children to explore various subjects, activities, and interests that may not be covered extensively in the standard curriculum. They expose children to a wide range of possibilities, giving them the chance to discover their passions and develop a lifelong love for specific areas of study or hobbies. These don’t have to just remain hobbies, either. They often turn into interesting careers and provide an opportunity for all children to experience success. Often, attending those classes provides the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals who share common interests.
Kids Like Me Enrichment Programs
Kids Like Me’s after school program is for children who are autistic or neurodiverse. Our classes are appropriate for children of all abilities, and siblings are also welcome. At Kids Like Me, we hope that children not only enjoy the activities, but make new friends along the way.
This year, Kids Like Me is offering a range of enrichment activities, from Karaoke Club and Super Chef to 2D Game Design and a Dungeons and Dragons club. Offering these kinds of after-school activities to neurodiverse students is crucial for their holistic development, as it provides a supportive environment where they can explore their interests and talents beyond the classroom. These activities foster social interaction, communication skills, and self-confidence, helping neurodiverse students thrive in diverse settings and build meaningful relationships. By tailoring these activities to their unique needs, we empower neurodiverse students to unlock their full potential and contribute meaningfully to their communities.
So, join us at After School! Your community is waiting. Learn more at kidslikemela.org/afterschool-programs