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ERIC Number: EJ1118554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0145-9635
The Transformative Potential of the Hours after School: Finding Purpose through Play
Neiva, Betsy MacIver
Independent School, v76 n1 Fall 2016
Through play-centered opportunities for discovery and exploration, a child can uncover his or her interests, talents, and authentic self, and the dividend may ultimately prove to be life-defining. If engaging in purposeful play is among the most effective means through which children identify the all-consuming activities that bring them joy, and if one of these activities later becomes the foundation upon which a satisfying career is based, then it makes sense that parents would want to expose their children to as many fun, play-oriented activities as possible. For working parents, however, finding the time to expose their children to numerous flow-focused activities is not quite as simple. What can working parents do to ensure their children will be exposed to an enticing array of enriching opportunities? After interviewing 42 after-school directors at independent schools nationwide and researching more than 100 after-school programs, the author and her former colleague, Diane Pepe, found that the best way for parents to ensure that their children would be exposed to a broad range of engaging, play-focused activities potentially leading to a state of flow was to enroll them in high-quality after-school programming. This article describes what high-quality, flow-focused after-school programming look like. Based on the research conducted by the author and her colleague, it typically is divided into two parts: (1) a theme-based, mission-driven core program running from dismissal to pick-up; and (2) an after-school clubs program featuring a broad spectrum of activities. In addition to the core and clubs programs, the high-quality after-school programs examined also feature three other key components: (1) a dedicated and enthusiastic staff of well-trained individuals who adore children; (2) in-depth and consistent systems for effective communication with all constituencies (parents, children, teachers, etc.); and (3) a supportive school community that understands and reinforces the after-school program's purpose and priorities. [Online Feature]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A