ARCHS is partnering with Monsanto to promote science in after school as an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education continues to grow.
Monsanto's Science Education Outreach Program will offer hands-on demonstrations for After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) students. ASAP students in 34 schools will benefit greatly from the expertise of Monsanto's scientists to encourage STEM learning. Monsanto plans to visit all ASAP sites by December 2013.
ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area.
"We are very excited that ASAP students will receive this great opportunity to learn from science professionals at Monsanto," said ARCHS' Vice President of K-12 Programs Kristy Kight. "There is a growing focus on STEM learning in the school day environment, so for after school students to be further engaged in science by experts such as Monsanto staff is a great benefit for ASAP programs."
The Monsanto Science Education Outreach offers 10 programs focused around STEM education, such as States of Matter & Chemistry Fun, Chromatography, Black Light Fun, Chlorophyll: The Power of Plants, How Fast Does that Plant Grow, and more.
Maggie Cole, a member of ARCHS' Board of Directors and the Global Manufacturing Sustainability Lead at Monsanto, assisted in bringing the two organizations together to provide the STEM educational opportunities for ASAP.
"Being on the Board of Directors for ARCHS has given me another avenue to link this community resource where there could be value," Cole said. "The ASAP program provides a great way for Monsanto to reach future scientists in the St. Louis region."
Well, parents of ASAP students at St. Louis the King were lucky enough to have special little Valentines as the kids made cards to celebrate the day! The after school students made Valentine's Day birds and cards to give to their parents, and were eager to go home to share them.
Also, ASAP students at Lexington Elementary celebrated Valentine's Day with a dance party, snacks, and face painting!
The ASAP after school program at St. Louis the King is operated by the YWCA, and the program at Lexington is operated by Provident, Inc.
Back to school time is in full swing, and making sure students have appropriate after school care is critical to a student's success. In order to get a full picture of student outcomes this past school year, ARCHS surveyed students, their parents, their day school teachers, and after school providers.
ARCHS surveyed students in December (1,617) and in April (1,589) to evaluate the impact of after school programs. The survey results showed that:
More than 80% of the youth reported improvements in the areas of academic support and enrichment (81.12%), health and recreation (85.33%), social and life skills (81.79%), and character development (81.92%). In addition, the survey showed re-administration reliability, meaning that the test results were consistent each time they were given.
ARCHS also surveyed parents in December (702) and in April (660) to measure parental perceptions of the after school program and of their children's participation.
94.4% of parents believed that the after school program produced better school day learning and behavior.
95.4% of the parents believed that the after school program offered an opportunity to discuss their child’s behavior.
At the end of the school year, ARCHS surveyed the day school teachers (269) and the after school provider staff (129) to get a picture of how the after school program affected the school day performance and behaviors of the student.
95.6% of the after school staff reported an increase in school day learning and behavior.
83.5% of the day school teachers reported better classroom behavior.
90.3% of the day school teachers reported an increase in educational outcomes for the after school students.