Before- and After-school
AYS is the best way for all kids to learn, grow, have fun, and stay safe in the environment parents already trust: at your school. Our programs create safe and caring environments that provide a balance of academic and social development through a variety of choice-directed and staff-directed activities. Choice-directed activities are easily accessible and include table games, learning stations and craft time. Staff-directed activities require direct instruction and supervision and are related to AYS core curriculum components and standards.
Daily Schedule (varies by site):
- Dismissal bell rings and school is out!
- AYS students walk down the hall to their classroom where they are greeted by AYS staff and attendance is recorded.
- Wash hands and have a snack while catching up with friends.
- Time for homework, reading or rest time.
- Physical activity: we love to play! Weather permitting, we’ll head outdoors or play in the gym. Sometimes we do both!
- Enrichment activity: we provide educational activity options based on Indiana Academic State Standards, as well as board games and social activities.
- More physical activity before parents arrive to sign their children out for the day.
…all in a warm and social environment that promotes community building by a team of trained and dedicated staff. Word-of-mouth spreads quickly among students and parents and we have many programs that go on a wait list due to demand! We love watching children grow up in our AYS programs and often have students later return to volunteer and even work!
AYS after-school programs provide a minimum of one staff-led curriculum activity per day. Curriculum is amalgamated from nationally and internationally respected institutions and museums. These sources align with state, national or international standards. Curriculum workshops are held each month to assist program directors and staff.
All AYS before- and after-school programs focus on four core components when developing weekly and daily activities:
- Health: Fostering healthy habits, encouraging outdoor play, and improving physical fitness in all children. This is implemented by outdoor activities and free play as often as the weather allows, healthy cooking clubs, fitness tracking, and special games.
- Literacy: Offering comfy reading lounges, theater clubs, reading rewards, letter writing activities, and read aloud programs.
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math): Focuses on learning through the use of science, technology, engineering, and math.
- SEL (Social and Emotional Learning): Focuses on service, good citizenship, and character development. Some activities that support those goals are philanthropic curriculum, youth leadership opportunities, learning about different cultures, cooperative games, and character building activities.
AYS hires individuals to work at our programs who have experience and a passion for kids and enjoy being outdoors. All AYS staff members go through a drug test, TB test, and several criminal background checks. Staff has also been trained in health and safety protocols related the COVID-19 crisis. AYS staff members also receive training in First Aid, child development, conflict resolution, team building, and overall safety. Staff/child ratios are low to allow for a variety of small group activities. CPR-certified staff members are always on site.
The AYS Way
The AYS Way is a set of characteristics that help children internalize a positive identity and develop more awareness and self-control. AYS staff help children develop the skills needed for each expectation and consistently recognize children who exhibit these characteristics: