Back to School Roundup: Top 5 Programs for Kids After School!
Between the time that the school bell rings and parents return from work, after school programs can provide kids with exciting, engaging experiences that teach academic, social, and professional skills. We've rounded up our top 5 favorite programs in the city that will enrich your child's after school hours with a range of different activities.
Philly Art Center
Not your average cookie-cutter, arts & crafts program, Philly Art Center's After School Program has been fostering out-of-the-box thinking for over a decade. Daily classes grouped by age provide instruction in drawing, painting, ceramics, mixed-media arts and more! Children are encouraged to make mistakes, get messy, and express themselves in a safe, fun environment. They're met by enthusiastic educators who offer creative, social, and emotional support and supply a toolbox of skill sets that allow each child to find his or her own unique solution.
That same dedicated crew picks up at over 10 schools around the city or awaits at an Art Center for van drop-offs, and oversees a schedule of outdoor play, snack, homework help, and incredibly fun, age-appropriate projects. Choose 1-5 days per week for ages 4-12, and reap some discounts with more days!
Philly Art Center, 2501 Olive St., Philadelphia, PA 19130, (215) 765-2787, www.phillyartcenter.com
Philly Art Center, 514 Bainbridge St., Philadelphia, PA 19147, (215) 765-2787, www.phillyartcenter.com
Ever since Karate Kid, we've all dreamed of earning a black belt by perfecting our round-house kicks and nunchaku tricks. That dream can be a reality for kids today, and just like we learn in the movie, there is more to martial arts than fighting. Zhang Sah's after school program focuses on developing the mind and body, morals and ethics, and knowledge and confidence, through scientific and philosophical teaching.
Daily after school program activities include martial arts class for grades K-8, taught by a dedicated and qualified group of staff, a nutritious snack, indoor & outdoor free play, homework time, sports, and special projects throughout the year. Children arrive at Zhang Sah by bus, walking escort, or van, immediately following daily dismissal from school.
Zhang Sah, 530 Bainbridge St., Philadelphia, PA 19147, (215) 923-6676, www.zhangsah.org
From tap and ballet to theatre and jazz, PACK is an outlet for kids to get those wiggles out in a fun, organized, and creative way. At the end of each semester (there are two semesters per school year), all the hard work pays off with a special performance for families and the public that is always a sell out!
Classes for ages 4-13 are grouped by age, experience, and skill level. Pick-up options are available from Meredith Elementary school and sibling discounts are available, too!
Philly PACK, 729 S. 4th St., Philadelphia PA 19147, www.phillypack.org
There are so many reasons why sending your kids to a spanish immersion after school program could benefit their development, we can’t even list them all. Other than the obvious learning-a-second-language perk, kids will also gain a greater capacity for listening, develop better communication skills, and gain insights into other cultures. Join Mi Casita for a Project Based Learning Program that incorporates art, movement, música, Spanish language learning and culture!
Children from grades K-3 will come together to create the Tesoros Travel Adventure. With each class, students will earn an Adventure Certificate and create a portfolio of art that culminates in the “Qué Bueno” Community Performance! Students will work directly with Mi Casita teachers for this opportunity to be creative and learn about cooperative project based learning with physical activity, music and art making- all in Spanish!
Mi Casita, 1415 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19130, www.micasitaphilly.com
Finding a balance between being serious and being seriously fun isn't always easy, but Philly InMovement has made it their mission to teach joyful play as equally as proper technique. Welcoming to all skill levels, InMovement encourages students to believe in themselves and learn gymnastics at their own pace in a safe and patient environment. And oh, will they learn! From the vault to the balance beam, your little one will gain skills, courage, and confidence through a progressive and mindful curriculum.
Classes for ages 5-12 vary between an hour to two hours long. Teachers pick up from Meredith Elementary School Monday through Fridays and from McCall on Wednesdays.
Philly InMovement, 500 Kenilworth St., Philadelphia, PA 19147, www.phillyinmovement.com
Posted: August 19, 2015