Edible Garden Project – Making a Difference Afterschool

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By Ledisney Rodriguez, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award 2017 Nominee

afterschool edible garden

The S&S Worldwide team is proud to be the sponsor of the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2017. We are honored to highlight the nominees and winners for their accomplishments and dedication to the afterschool community. Ledisney Rodriguez’s is 26 years old and pursuing a degree in Dietetics’ and Nutrition. Here is her story:

I started my after school involvement/ career in 2009 right after I graduated high school, where I received my DCF 45 hour certification. I applied for a tutoring position available with the City of Hialeah’s, Education and Community Services Department for the Creative Learning and Play Program. I became eager to learn and advance in my current placement location 6-9 months later, I did. I was promoted to the main office as a Literacy Programing Assistant. During this time, I was involved in many tasks involving scheduling, invoicing and creating MOUs and Scope of services for all subcontractors, Data Tracker/SAMIS data system for The Children’s Trust, Attendance for all programs, and payroll for the whole department Part Time and Full Timers. These with other assignments allowed me to grow and understand the logistics of grant writing and the work it takes to put it all together. Continue reading



Torn Paper Art and Writing Lesson for Elementary School

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torn paper art lesson

Objective: To inspire children’s writing through the use of textured torn paper and collage

Age: 6+

Time: 30-45 minutes (writing varies) Grades: 1st +

Materials:

Lesson for Torn Paper Art

1. Allow your students to choose the topic they want to create. For this example, you will see an example of a winter themed snowman and a snail in the grass.
2. Choose the color paper you want as a background.
3. Choose the different color paper you want to use to create your picture.
4. Tear the colors slowly into various shapes to represent the topic/ setting or habitat.
5. Glue pieces into place carefully.

Note: If you tear paper quickly and narrowly, you will enable the paper to curl. Allow them to practice if needed. Remember, no scissors! Continue reading



Why Teachers are Incorporating Yoga in the Classroom

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yoga classroom

Yoga has become a great way for classroom teachers, PE teachers, and even after school coordinators to help students de-stress from their day, re-energize and clear their minds to focus. Yoga creates the support for students to not just build up their minds, but their bodies as well, better preparing them for their future. Below we list the 7 major benefits of incorporating yoga into the classroom, introduce you to our friends at Yoga Foster, and share how one teacher is using yoga in her classroom.

Our friends over at Yoga Foster advocate and heavily support the use of yoga throughout the school day and have success story after success story from educators that have used their program. We are so inspired by the work Yoga Foster is doing that we’ve even partnered with them to create an online course for PE Teachers (which can also be tailored to after school professionals and classroom teachers) that walks you through introducing yoga to your students. Continue reading



Bullying Prevention Using Dramatic & Cooperative Play

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bully prevention kids puppets

Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign that is truly important to me and the entire S&S team. I genuinely enjoy coming up with new and creative ways that kids can use our products to gain a greater understanding of what bullying is, raise awareness, and ultimately put an end to bullying.

This year, while thinking about what type of projects to create and share, I remembered an article I had read on the Parents Magazine website on social and emotional skills and dramatic play. The article talked about the importance of dramatic and cooperative play, reinforcing children learn how to take turns, share responsibility, and problem solve when engaging in these activities. What undoubtedly stood out in this article was simple, but resonated with me all these months later. “When children pretend to be different characters, they have the experience of walking in someone else’s shoes, which helps teach the moral skill of empathy.” Continue reading



Kaleidoscope Craft with Educational Activity Ideas

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kaleidoscope craft activities

The EduCraft® Kaleidoscopes Craft Kit is one of our most popular craft kits. It makes 25 kaleidoscopes that rotate to make spectacular patterns. This is a great group activity for the classroom, afterschool, or at any educational program. View the instructions below, along with 7 different activites related to math, social studies, science, and written language.

Age group: 8 and up

Project Time: 60 minutes

kaleidoscope materials

Your kit contains:

  • Long Cardboard Tubes
  • Short Cardboard Tubes
  • Frosted Plastic Circles
  • Cardboard Circles with Hole
  • Clear Plastic Circles
  • Silver Acetate Sheets
  • Assorted Beads
  • Tape
  • Teaching Guide with instructions and illustrations

Continue reading



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