Universe Today says “The North Star shines with a humble brightness that belies its navigational importance. Polaris, or the North Star, sits almost directly above the North Pole; therefore, it is a reliable gauge of North if you find yourself lost on a clear night without a compass.”
After-School All-Stars celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2018 and throughout these years, we’ve continually evolved our mission, vision and focus to better serve children. Each time we’ve iterated on our model we’ve asked ourselves the questions: What do under-resourced kids need now? How can we best serve them? What do we need to do programmatically and structurally to respond to these needs? As the world has changed, so have the answers to these questions. And so, every few years, we have pivoted, improved, stepped forward and in some cases, fundamentally changed the way we do our work. Each time, the students we serve and our vision for them has stayed constant – that vision has remained our “North Star”. It has helped us stay on a kid-focused path. Our vision for our “All-Stars” is the exact same vision we all have for our own children, that they are kept safe and healthy, that they graduate high school and go on to college or some form of higher education, that they find a career, tied to their passions, that they truly love and that all along the way, they give back to their communities.
At After-School All-Stars we want to live in a world where all kids have the support they need to fully develop both socially and emotionally, becoming the most confident and adaptable adults they can be. We know it’s critical that all children are provided the programming and mentors that enable them to build knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits they’ll need to not only achieve self-sufficiency but to thrive in our ever-changing and more challenging economy.
After 25 years of growth, we’ve arrived at a program strategy that is comprised of two main components, both of which are aimed at preparing youth to succeed in the 21st-century economy. The two main components are 1) fostering the core social-emotional competencies all youth need to thrive in relationships both at home and in the workplace and 2) intentional skill development in a few critical areas with an orientation towards mastery, providing them the building blocks of the technical skills they’ll need to get and keep thriving wage jobs.
All-Star Students: Youth Core Competencies
- Identify and manage emotionsthat lead to positive decision-making
- Develop pro-social behaviorsthat foster positive relationships with peers and adults
- Grow confidence and self-motivationto succeed in their academic careers
- Develop thinking skills and social-emotional fitness needed to succeed in the 21st Century workforce
- Lead, serve, and advocate to increase their sense of belonging and ownership of school and community
Skill development with an orientation towards mastery
ASAS youth participate in classes and activities that develop their skills, build their desire for mastery, and increase their levels of engagement.
1. ASAS classes and activities help our students build skill and increase knowledge 2. ASAS staff assess our students’ progress in developing an orientation towards mastery of the given skill. 3. ASAS students share their learning through showcases and demonstrations to establish an aptitude toward leadership and public speaking.
After-School All-Stars youth being prepared to succeed in the 21st century, new economy looks like youth:
- Feeling and showing that they are socially, emotionally and physically safe and healthy,
- Demonstrating positive academic behavior,
- Developing career aspirations and
- Enthusiastically participating in science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or “STEAM” programming.
Our mission statement continues to include creating and providing comprehensive experiences for our youth. One of our key goals is to give the children we serve the same opportunities their middle and upper-income peers enjoy. This calls for our programs to make available a well-rounded offering of classes and activities that feature:
- Health, Fitness, and social-emotional learning programs
- Academic and High School Readiness programming
- Science, technology, engineering, and math or “STEM” Programming
- Career Exploration Experiences
- The Visual and Performing Arts