BY: PAMELA STERN
After School Professionals Appreciation Week is a joint effort of community partners, after school programs, youth and child development workers and individuals who have committed to declaring the last full week of April each year as a time to recognize and appreciate those who work with youth during out-of-school hours.
The Spring Creek After School Program Director, Jeremy Williams decided that since it was National After School Professionals Appreciation Week, while the children and staff were off for spring recess that he wanted to salute his staff once they returned back from their spring recess. Williams emailed the parents of children enrolled in the program and asked them for words of appreciation and encouragement for the staff for all that they do for the children. Williams wanted to acknowledge the staff and show them how much the parents value them. He did this by giving his staff certificates of recognition to thank them for their professionalism towards the children. Staff members were treated to light refreshments in recognition of their hard work in making a difference in the lives of young people.
Parents emailed Williams their sentiments for the staff and some brought in cards which Williams displayed for all to see. Georgina Berry-Peacock who has two children enrolled in the Spring Creek After School Program absolutely adores the staff. “The staff help my children (ages five and nine) complete their home-work. They help the kids succeed and they are easy to talk to. Not only do they help the children with their homework but, they also discipline the children too. They are very caring and know each individual child by name. The children love going on the educational trips too. I have also accompanied the children on some trips. I think the most memorable one was the one in Philadelphia, Please Touch Museum which is an interactive museum. It was even interesting for the adults,” said Berry-Peacock.
Kylah Peacock enjoys playing board games like Trouble with her friends, and Connect Four with her friends. “I liked going to the Hall of Science,” said Peacock. Peacock who is nine years old wants to become a Veterinarian when she is older and that is why the Hall of Science appealed to her.
Jeremiah Peacock is five years old and enjoys playing with the cars with some of the older boys who are his sister’s age.
Shaquanna Freeman’s daughter has been in this after school program for three years and loves it!
The staff is excellent! The interaction of the staff and the children is great. The staff is very caring to the children,” said Freeman.
Saniya Gray enjoys the arts and crafts and the dancing too! “I have a lot of fun playing with the sand art,” said Gray. Gray relish-ed when she went to the Liberty Science Center.
Sakina Spencer has two children registered in the Spring Creek After School Program. “I love the fact that the staff helps the children with their homework and all of the activities that they do. The staff is kind, patient, and most of all good to the children. I like the fact that there is a curriculum and the kids are learning. My kids like to be motivated. They like to learn about different countries and different parts of the world. I like that staff is genuine, and they have a passion for the kids. Their dedication and love for the children,” said Spencer.
Photo by: Pamela Stern