Tips on Finding Afterschool or Summer Learning Opportunities
If you’re trying to find out what kinds of afterschool or summer youth programs exist in or near your community, here’s how to start. Keep in mind that youth programming often happens at places such as:
- Community centers
- Community learning centers
- Full-service schools
- Museums, and libraries
- Community arts councils
- Youth employment programs
- Settlement houses
Steps to finding expanded learning opportunities:
A number of cities in Minnesota are working to build networks of youth-serving programs and have created Program Finders to connect youth and parents with high quality afterschool and expanded learning opportunities.
- In Saint Paul, check out Sprockets: http://www.sprocketssaintpaul.org/.
- In Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, visit www.brooklynsconnect.org.
- In Minneapolis, stay in touch with the Minneapolis Afterschool Network in the Youth Coordinating Board, www.ycb.org, which is developing the “What’s Up 612″ program finder.
- In Fargo-Moorhead, visit http://godoo.ventureyouthalliance.com/maps/ to search for youth programs in the area.
- In Northfield, visit http://northfieldhci.org/ to learn about programs of the Healthy Community Initiative.
In addition, you can:
- Ask a teacher or principal at your child’s school if there is a school-based youth development program.
- Use search engines to look for “youth programs name of your community.”
- Contact community organizations for more information about opportunities for learning beyond the classroom, such as:
• Boys & Girls Clubs of America, www.bgca.org, Find clubs on their webpage
• Camp Fire USA, www.campfireusa-mn.org
• Churches, synagogues and mosques
• Community Education
• 4-H Council
• Girls, Inc
• Inner City Games
• Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest
• Park & Recreation Department
• Police Athletic Leagues
- Review the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership’s (MMEP) Academic Enrichment Guide for information about summer enrichment programs and opportunities. http://www.mmep.net/.
- Talk to other parents, guardians, and grandparents about what their children and grandchildren do when they’re not in school. They might be able to tell you about good programs in the area.
- Call your local childcare resource and referral office. They will have a directory of child and youth development programs in your area for children and youth up to age 13. You can find them in the blue, white, and yellow pages of the phone book under childcare, or visit their website: http://www.mnchildcare.org/.