After School Activities Helps Student Performance

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Photo left to right: Maurie Lewis, Cindy Cliche, Dr. Jeremy Winters, Eli Dickerson, ESP Staff Member

Parents who utilize the MCS Extended School Program (ESP) should find more benefits than just the convenience of after school care.

According to youth.gov, effective afterschool programs can bring a wide range of benefits to youth, families and communities including boosting academic performance, reducing risky behaviors, promoting physical health, and providing a safe, structured environment for children of working parents.

Over 150 ESP staff members came together to learn about creating magic in after school enrichment activities for the 2016-17 school year.

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"Parents know the importance of school," says Ralph Ringstaff, MCS Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and ESP. "However, we also want to stress the benefits that happen before and after the bell rings."

ESP continues to offer traditional help for homework and tutoring. However, the enrichments range in scope including piano lessons, coding, foreign language, cooking and sports. Afterschool programs introduce MCS students to math and science in a hands-on, fun atmosphere and broaden the school day experience.

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"We want ESP to be a fun learning encounter for our students," says Ringstaff. "Whether students are playing card games for math experience or sports for their health and physical well-being, they are engaged and learning."

MTSU Professor Dr. Jeremy Winters and Cindy Cliche, MCS Math Coordinator, demonstrated fast math learning skills through card games for staff members to implement during ESP. Students enjoy card games for the challenge and competition, however, practicing math skills through card and board games is great for student achievement.

Are students learning? Yes. Are they realizing that card games help with math skills? Probably not.

ESP Site Director Maurie Lewis described the day as refreshing and motivating. "This is a great day to learn new avenues to engage our students, from new learning apps for our iPad to being introduced to new interactive tools. Today is about making sure our students across the district enjoy their after school activities but are also better prepared in the classroom the next day."

National studies conclude that students who regularly attend quality afterschool programs consistently demonstrate better academic performance and behavior in the classroom.

The MCS Extended School Program is open to all students in Murfreesboro City Schools and operates around the school day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For additional information regarding ESP, please visit www.cityschoolsesp.net or call 615-893-2313.

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ESP, Murfreesboro ESP, Murfreesboro Schools
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