On January 17, Associates Council volunteers gathered at the Dunlevy Milbank Community Center in Harlem to support Study Now, Play Later, a signature Children’s Aid program where students (grades K-5) spend their Saturday reinforcing concepts learned in school, specifically math and reading. In order to complement classroom activities, students end their day in the gym where instructors lead dance aerobics, team-building games, and sports.
“Study Now, Play Later is a safe environment that provides students with an opportunity to prepare for the week ahead at school,” said Eddie Britt, Saturday Program Director. “Studies show that young students benefit from ongoing educational reinforcement outside of traditional school hours and this program ensures that our students are positioned for success, especially after a weekend away from school.”
While the program emphasizes education, the scheduled activities promote relationship-building and emotional development. Students are greeted by staff and their peers, and are expected to contribute in a positive and meaningful manner by not only completing their assignments but by expressing themselves in an appropriate manner.
Following a tour of the Dunlevy Milbank Community Center, AC members joined students in each of the classrooms and worked with individual students on assignments. From there, everyone went to the gym where AC volunteers were challenged in a dodge ball-style game of “Sharks and Fishes.” Even though this was the first time many AC members had participated in Study Now, Play Later, they were all impressed by the morning’s activities and left excited about the other volunteer projects that are being planned this year.
Next month, the Associates Council will host a book fair for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Participants will play literary games and select books to take home so they can begin building their personal libraries.
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