Learning: It’s Not Just From 8 To 3 Anymore

Do you have elementary-age children in the Fargo Public Schools? Do they participate in activities at their building outside of the regular school day?

If the answer to either one of these questions is no, you might not know about the options that today’s students and their families have for continued learning and activities inside their child’s school, but outside of the regular school day. The District offers before- and after-school programming at each of its elementary schools through two well-known partner agencies, the Boys & Girls Club/Youth Commission (often called FYC), and the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties. Each school has a relationship with one of these agencies, chosen by the building principal. The programs provide students with a well-rounded schedule of academic, learning, and physical activities each day, beginning at (or before) 7:00 a.m., and until 6:00 p.m. The programs run daily while school is in session, and as full-day programs during the school year when classes are not, including teacher conferences and some holidays.

Schools, Partners and Transportation
Bennett, Clara Barton-Hawthorne, Centennial, Kennedy, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Longfellow, and Washington Elementary Schools all host a program run by the Boys & Girls Club/Youth Commission.

Horace Mann-Roosevelt, Jefferson, Madison, and McKinley Elementary Schools host a program run by the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties. Roosevelt and McKinley sites are afterschool-only programs.

In order to stay within staff-to-student ratios and space limits, both the YMCA and the BGC/YC have enrollment caps within their onsite school programs. In order to accommodate students past the onsite limit, the BGC/YC operates two Fargo facilities that host the programs on Fargo’s south side. Those facilities host “transfers,” which use shuttles to transport students from schools to the facilities in the afternoon. Five schools use transfers due to the number of children enrolled: Bennett, Centennial, Kennedy, Lewis and Clark, and Lincoln. The YMCA also provides transportation from schools to its facilities downtown and south if necessary.

Environment and Learning
Curricula used by both the BGC/YC and the YMCA are different. However, they are research-based, support state learning standards, and are used by those organizations at their local sites across the country. Hands-on educational programming in both includes learning lessons and activities in the traditional areas of literacy, math, science, music, arts and crafts, and recreation and fitness, but also addresses the areas of nutrition and health, financial literacy, leadership, character and relationships. Homework assistance (as necessary) and gym time are a part of daily activities. Field trips are scheduled throughout the year by both organizations as well. Staff from both the BGC/YC and the YMCA who work directly with children are a combination of volunteers, and part-time and full-time employees, all of whom have degrees in education or a related field, and/or years of experience.

Students in the morning and/or afternoon programs, and those who participate in all-day programs, receive either a nutritious meal or a snack depending on the program they attend.

Registration and Other Information
Registration takes place directly through the BGC/YC and the YMCA. Both organizations provide financial assistance in varied amounts for their programs, based on need. For registration, program options, schedules, and fee information, visit the links on the previous page.

Do you have a student
in middle or high school who would benefit from afterschool programs? The BGC/YC serves students up to age 17; the YMCA has programming for students up through grade 8.

(All images courtesy of the YMCA and the Youth Commission, and are copyrighted.)