By Ledisney Rodriguez, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award 2017 Nominee
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 →
Kids can make a doily santa decoration using a few simple craft materials! Use this as a fun group craft project or a one-on-one activity. To make this craft even easier, we have created a Free Printable Downloadwith each shape. Place the color construction paper you need behind each shape and cut along the lines.
Recommended Ages: 4-7
1. Cut our your pieces
Cut a circle out of oak tag paper for the face.
Cut 3 small circles, for the nose and 2 rosy cheeks using red and pink construction paper.
Cut 2 wavy shapes out of white construction paper for the mustache.
Cut a hat out of red construction paper.
Tip: Pre-cut the pieces for young kids and lay them out in piles on a table for easy access.
2. Glue the pieces
Glue two wiggly eyes, nose, cheeks, and mustache to the face (large circle)
Glue the face to the center of the doily
Glue the hat to the back of the doily (this should overlap)
Glue the cotton ball to the end of the hat
3. Get creative!
Kids can add eyebrows, draw silly eyes instead of using wiggly eyes, add more cotton balls for a beard, glitter or gems to the hat, and any other fun craft materials they’d like.
Now you can hang Santa up!
Add a magnet to the back to hang it on the refrigerator
Hole punch the top of the hat to hang it from a string for a cute decoration
Glue Santa to a piece of paper for a background, then write Merry Christmas or use foam letters to spell it out!
Have kids write a letter to Santa after the craft activity to add to the holiday fun!
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 →
A Literacy Night is a great way to show how integrating literacy through physical activity is simple and can improve reading and writing abilities. You can work with classroom teachers, the PTO, and the community to put this event together. Here are a few physical activity ideas to include in the event to support your school’s efforts.
This company called the Alphabet Workout has a number of free and affordable activities that focus on teaching phonics and letters to young children struggling to learn this topic. One great activity to get exercise and improve the basics of reading at the same time is yoga. In this activity, a set of cards with letters on them correspond to different yoga poses. Each card has a picture of a child doing the pose on the front along with a short story about the pose on the back of the card for the teacher to read. Older students can read the story themselves as well as do the poses independently. Learn more about the benefits and how to incorporate yoga into your classroom. Continue reading →
Communicating with others verbally in a variety of situations is one of the soft skills for students to develop at the elementary level. I like using blindfold activities help students develop verbal communication skills as they determine the best vocabulary words to use to reach a desired outcome. Through the years, it’s been rewarding to see kids start to understand the importance of their verbal communication through blindfold activities. Some students feel frustrated with each other and want to give up. Other students stop and problem solve by choosing different vocabulary. Other students find quick success when they choose not to rush and understand that “slow and steady wins the race.”
Prior to participating in the blindfold activities, students brainstorm together what words to use in order to successfully guide someone who is not able to see to perform a variety of tasks. In all the activities below, students are only able to use words to guide their blindfolded partners. They are not allowed guide by touch or using their hands. The blindfolds I used are from S&S Worldwide.
This is a great introductory activity. Students get in pairs and take turns guiding their blindfolded partner around the gym without running into anyone or anything. This activity enables students to practice and discover the best vocabulary words to use to guide their partner. Provide time for students to reflect and discuss with other students what words were successful for them.