From Our Team
Beyond the Bell: Unlocking the Power of Summer Programs
Posted on April 28, 2023 by Sandra Day
As students in the borderland count down the days until the bell rings one last time for the school year, parents seek ways to keep children engaged while school is not in session.
Out-of-school-time (OST) providers offer a wide range of summer programs. For a good reason, these programs have become increasingly popular. Summer programming provides a unique opportunity for students to continue learning outside of the traditional classroom setting with activities that promote their learning and development while keeping them active. For working parents, summer programs also offer a safe and supervised environment to keep their children occupied.
Summer programs also provide an excellent opportunity for youth to socialize and work with their peers. This can be especially important for students struggling with making friends or working in groups during the school year. By participating in activities and projects with teammates, kids can develop teamwork skills, build confidence, gain leadership skills, promote community engagement, and make lasting connections. There is a summer program for each child’s interests and the needs of their family.
Programs funded under the Healthy Kids Initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation follow best practices for youth development. In addition, these programs are available to families for free or at a low cost with an evidence-based curriculum.
The BOOST Network is a hub for all OST providers to share best practices, collaborate, and leverage resources. The BOOST Network is a convenient place for parents to find quality summer programs in the Paso del Norte region.
Every year, the BOOST network compiles a comprehensive “Summer Program Guide” that can be accessed here: Spring Into Summer - BOOST Network (theboostnetwork.org). This guide helps parents find the right program for their children.
The BOOST Network is housed at the United Way of El Paso County and is funded by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s Healthy Kids Initiative. Both organizations are committed to the community’s long-term well-being, and we know that a healthy community starts with healthy kids.
Research shows that youth participating in quality OST programs are more likely to stay in school, reduce risky behaviors, and become more involved in their communities. OST programs provide youth with the opportunity for personal growth and development. Participants can develop essential life skills such as independence, resilience, and adaptability by stepping outside their comfort zones and finding new passions. These programs can also help prepare students to explore new career paths.
If you are considering a summer program for your child, we encourage you to visit the BOOST Network website BOOST Network - Out-of-School Time Programs - Paso del Norte Region (theboostnetwork.org) to learn more about summer and year-round out-of-school-time programs.
PDNHF Initiative: Healthy Kids
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Foundation Staff: Sandra Day
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