Equity Begins with Meeting Basic Needs
As the Summer winds down and schools open their doors, After School programs are also launching into the program year. It is important to remember that Equity begins with meeting everyones basic human needs. This is where education and health intersect, making sure that each young person is prepared to learn. Young people cannot fully engage in classroom activities before, during or after school if they are hungry, tired or emotionally distressed. Educators can do a lot to prepare for this upfront by creating space in their agendas, in their schedules and in their learning spaces for students to get right with themselves so they can be prepared to learn. This means having fresh water and cups, deodorant if necessary, a clean shirt, a wash cloth, even a place to get a quick nap during the day, or some snacks on deck to help tide folks over to their next meal. Young people must have their basic needs met before they are prepared to engage in the lessons you teach, which is why all after school programs should be equipped with snacks, juice boxes or other things to nibble on as students wrestle with their homework, or engage in other types of activities.
Tips like these are available in our professional development cohorts and workshops. We are currently recruiting youth development professionals to register for one of our three annual cohorts dealing in Youth Leadership, Program Management and Teaching 101. We encourage you to join these exclusive award winning professional development experiences. Visit the events page for details.