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ASAP Paddles Its Way to Summer Camp

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Even during the summertime, ASAP at Neighborhood Houses is full of fun learning opportunities for students. From July 8 to 12, ASAP students visited Camp MoVal in Union, Missouri, whose peaceful remoteness was a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of St. Louis. Nestled between rolling, forested hills, the camp gave the ASAP youth the opportunity to do many things that they couldn’t in the city—hiking, stargazing, canoeing, paddleboating, swimming, and playing capture the flag among them.

Neighborhood Houses Site Coordinator Niesha Nelson said the youth learn responsibility and leadership, in addition to participating in activities different than watching television and playing electronics.

“If I had this opportunity as a child, what would that have done to me, Nelson said. “Coming from a low income family, we couldn’t afford camp, and then, knowing that these kids can come here and have the chance to come here for free, and it’s a wonderful thing that we’re able to provide.”

Gundia Lockclay, Site Coordinator at Neighborhood Houses, said the youth learn good values and how to communicate with one another.

“They learn how to get along with each other. They see things that they don’t normally see,” Lockclay said. “They get to make friends. They get to go places that they have never been before."

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OASIS' CATCH Healthy Habits Seeking Adult Volunteers

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Want to make an impact teaching children about proper food choices, while you share healthy snack ideas and play games?

OASIS’ CATCH Healthy Habits is seeking adult volunteers (over the age of 50) for just one hour a week to combat childhood obesity at several ASAP after school locations, including Mason Elementary, Woerner Elementary, Jennings Fairview Elementary School, and Adams Park Community Center. Volunteers should be available this fall from September to November, and be able to attend a training in August.

CATCH Healthy Habits works with children in kindergarten through fifth grade to lead fun, active games, share healthy snacks, and learn about healthy food choices. Through ASAP, ARCHS expanded this program with OASIS to bring students and adults over the age of 50 together to learn about healthy eating and physical activity habits.

For more information on volunteering, contact Shelby Schroeder at 314-653-4092 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ASAP After School Programs Earning Recognition

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The ASAP after school program at Dunbar Elementary is combating the notion that science is just an abstract concept in a textbook by expanding its learning of the subject for students through a grant from Monsanto.

This past May, Monsanto presented the ASAP program at Dunbar with a $1,000 Dannette Ward Science Education grant. The grant will be used to support the science and literacy based program Quirkles for after school students, which uses funny characters to explain scientific concepts through short stories and teach fun and engaging science experiments. Students will make slime and Play-Doh, and read stories that help with their phonics.

ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area.

“The program is great for students and facilitators because you don't have to be a science teacher to help students learn,” said Dunbar Site Director LaKesia Richmond-Brooks. “The story I was introduced to was Gilbert Gas; he talked about how much he liked grape soda and how they used carbon to make it.  One of the experiments demonstrated was how carbon dioxide in an Alka-Seltzer tablet can make a top pop off a film canister; this experiment was even fun and engaging for the adults in the ARCHS training.”

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ARCHS' OASIS Partnership Brings CATCH Healthy Habits to After School

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The After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) and ARCHS are expanding a program with OASIS to bring students and adults over the age of 50 together to learn about healthy eating and physical activity habits.

OASIS' CATCH Healthy Habits works with children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade to lead fun, active games, share healthy snacks, and learn about healthy food choices. Two ASAP sites (Adams Park Community Center and Fairview Elementary School) used the program this past school year and two additional ASAP sites will implement the program during the next school year.

"We could not have found a better partner than ARCHS, whose extensive community-based youth services has enabled us to serve more students in grades kindergarten through fifth and help engage more adult community members throughout the St. Louis metro area," said CATCH Healthy Habits National Coordinator Peter Holtgrave. "We know that our volunteers are in good hands working with ASAP's expert staff, who provide the kind of nurturing, structured, and fun environment that allows CATCH Healthy Habits to be a rewarding, successful experience for students and volunteers alike."

ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area.

As obesity rates in America have tripled for children and doubled for older adults in the last 30 years, with nearly one in three children being overweight, CATCH Healthy Habits plays an important role in combating unhealthy trends by engaging adults as mentors. While OASIS mentors promote healthy habits for the students, they also benefit from better nutrition and increased exercise, in addition to experiencing  the rewards of meaningful community service as a volunteer.

"It is truly amazing to see the impact of this intergenerational program for both the youth and the adult participants. Older adults have so much knowledge and experience to share with today's youth, and the children appreciate the support of trusting, caring adults who are concerned about their health and well-being," said CATCH Healthy Habits Local Coordinator Shelby Schroeder. "CATCH Healthy Habits is about learning how to live a healthy lifestyle everyday, but also about the importance of relationships and respecting yourself, your peers, and people of all ages."

PHOTO GALLERY: CATCH Healthy Habits at Adams Park

ASAP Students to Receive STEM Education Through Monsanto Partnership

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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."

Read more: ASAP Students to Receive STEM Education Through Monsanto Partnership