How to Start an After School Program in My Church

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After school programs assist parents and communities in providing children activities, tutoring and childcare during the hours of the day that have been deemed the most dangerous time for children. Children need places that will occupy their time with meaningful experiences to prevent them from getting involved in gangs or violence, or other kinds of trouble. Community organizations committed to serving children impact the future of our communities, cities and, ultimately, the nation.

Meet with the pastor of the church and determine his willingness to support an after school program. This program will require financial, spiritual and manpower support. It is important that the pastor and the congregation buys into the program for it to be successful.

Brainstorm to determine the focus of the program. Consideration should be given to educational goals, spiritual goals, nutritional goals and physical fitness goals. All are significant components of most after school programs.

Determine what population of children the program will target. Determine how many children the program can effectively support.

Find out from the church administrator what type of insurance the after care program will need to cover incidents and accidents during the duration of the program.

Write down the vision statement, mission statement and program goals. Ensure that the pastor is in agreement then put each in writing on official letterhead to present to potential volunteer or paid staff workers.

Create program rules and regulations for the after care program participants and the adult workers.

Advertise within the church community the need for volunteer or paid workers.

Submit an official background check for each adult worker. Gently inform persons who are not eligible.

Select adult workers who will work with the after school program. Provide the workers with the official vision statement, mission statement and program goals.

Advertise the after care program enrollment to the target audience through word of mouth, church bulletin, radio announcements and the newspaper.

Determine enrollment cut-off date and establish a day to meet with the program participants' parents and guardians to review policies, rules and regulations.