The After-School Club program is one of the most popular programs at CRP. Kids ages 6-12 enjoy different activities after school, make friendships, and have fun in a safe and productive environment. Activities at ASC vary from physical to educational to artistic.
“The kids come to ASC to have and explore their hobbies and talents, that they don’t have the chance to explore otherwise,” says Emad, the program facilitator.
Staff and volunteers use a trauma-sensitive approach to interacting with the kids, most of whom fled their home countries at a very young age, or come from poor Jordanian families. Trauma can have many effects on kids. The kids of ASC have psychological and behavioral responses to trauma that can manifest in loss in confidence, feeling that life is out of control, and lack of trust in adults. The program provides many ways to deal with these effects such as giving the kids the freedom to choose their healthy snacks everyday at the end of the program which gives the kids a sense of agency and self control. Playing different games at ASC gets the kids used to following rules, even simple games like chutes and ladders, other games get the kids to work in teams. but most importantly it’s meant for fun. An educational component runs through it all, and kids work in literacy, math, and English skills. They also get active through dance (Zumba) and yoga.
Every session the kids recite the following saying: “May all I think, say and do, not hurt anyone and help everyone,” which is meant to plant the seed of kindness in these kids. “I love ASC because i have a lot of fun and learn different things,” says Noor, one of the kids at ASC.
One of our long-time volunteers, Salem, leads the kids in Zumba. It provides an artistic as well as physical outlet . Twice a week, you can find the kids jamming to their favorite Zumba songs and rocking the whole place.
Because many of the kids are either out of school, have missed school, or are attend over-crowded schools, it’s important that ASC is place of learning. In addition to typical academic skills, kids also take on topics such as health and hygiene. The kids enjoy some multicultural activities such as doing origami or Arabic calligraphy.
The volunteers at ASC are mostly from the local and refugee community in CRP’s neighborhood , where they learn leadership skills, have fun, and connect with the kids. “My favorite part of this program is these kids, I can’t wait to see them everyday,” says Sahar, one of the volunteers at ASC.
Many thanks to Rotary International for supporting the After-School club and providing this chance for the kids.