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III. Intentional Programming and Activities

Afterschool Quality Standard

Key Principle:

Intentional Programming and Activities

Youth experience a variety of fun and stimulating opportunities for engagement and learning that support positive physical,social, emotional and cognitive development.

  1. Youth actively engage in learning activities that promote critical and creative thinking skills.
  2. Youth assume leadership roles and contribute to program planning, development, implementation and evaluation.
  3. Activities are intentional and are aligned with the program’s mission.
  4. Youth interests and strengths are reflected in program activities.
  5. Program is explicit about the specific physical,social and emotional skills it seeks to develop and what program activities support these goals.
  6. Materials and activities are developmentally appropriate and accessible to all youth.
Kids in classroom

Examples of the Standard in Practice:

  • Youth have opportunities to play/work individually as well as collaboratively in a small or large group.
  • Most activities are hands-on, interactive, project-based, and/ or encourage youth exploration of new concepts that relate to their everyday experiences.
  • Staff intentionally plans activities that build upon the specific interests of youth in their program.
  • Program goals for youth outcomes are used for backwards planning to develop program activities that support desired outcomes.
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