Excerpt from General Series I, Article 1: Making a Place for Every Child and Youth
by Roberta L. Newman

A group of children are spending a typical afternoon in the board and table games area at After School Horizons.  While they share a common interest in playing board games, each one has a different experience in the area.  

Seven-year-olds Justin and Jerome are playing Sorry.  They like playing together, but if Jerome starts to fall behind, there’s trouble.  He scowls and groans whenever he has to move backwards, pounds his game piece as he moves, strikes his fist on the table if Justin moves ahead.  If he doesn’t win, Jerome has an intense reaction - his face reddens and he often screams, “This game is so stupid!”  Other times, he shoves the game cards onto the floor.  Yesterday, he impulsively kicked over his chair and ran from the area.  
Nine-year-old Erik is a Checkers fanatic. He loves the strategies of the game and keeps a log of his wins and losses.  Today he and nine-year-old Kim have agreed to play a mini-tournament with three games.  After losing game one, Kim announces, “I don’t want to sit here anymore.  Let’s go to the gym; I feel like running around.”  Erik is very disappointed; he wants to stick to the plan.  Kim says, “No, I’m tired of sitting around and I want to play basketball.”   But Erik argues, “We SAID we’d play three games. You’re breaking your promise.”  Kim shrugs and walks away.  Erik sulks and mutters, “Well, I’m playing Checkers; if you won’t play, I’ll play by myself.”

Eleven-year-olds Marta and Sonja are playing Kids Charades.  Cara and Shonda are watching nearby.  Marta is outgoing and loves acting out the different characters and motions; no matter what Charades card comes up in the deck, she gives it a try. Sonja hasn’t played Charades before and is hesitant about acting things out.  When Marta, Cara, and Shonda laugh at Sonja’s portrayal of an elephant, Sonja gets upset.  Tears come to her eyes as she says, “You’re hurting my feelings.”  Marta smiles and says, “Laughing is just part of the game.”  Sonja sighs and says, “Okay, I’ll try again, but I really don’t like it when people laugh at me; if you do it again, I’m quitting.”   Cara and Shonda shake their heads and tell Sonja to “stop being such a baby.”

Six--year-old Raphael is building a complicated structure with wooden blocks.  He decides he needs several cylinder blocks that are part of a tower six-year-old Michael is making nearby.  Raphael goes over to Michael and points at the cylinders, saying, “Give me those; I need them.”  Michael ignores him.  In a flash, Raphael, kicks down Michael’s tower, and grabs the cylinders.

The children in these scenarios exhibited differences in temperament and personal style as they pursued a common interest in the board game area.  Without assistance and guidance from staff many of these children had negative experiences.  However, the presence of staff skilled at responding effectively to temperamental differences could have made a positive difference.
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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 2: Helping Kids Live by the Rules in After-School Programs
by Roberta L. Newman

The Importance of Involving Children in Rule-Making

As school-age children grow and change and interact with each other in school-age programs, they need to know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior.  To set a tone for expected behavior, many organizations establish a “code of conduct” that is communicated to children as soon as they enroll in the program.  However, when rules are made solely by adults without children’s input, it’s not uncommon to hear staff say things like:  “I’ve told my kids the rules over and over again; why don’t they follow them?”  OR  “These kids know the rules; they just ignore them!”  Most quality school-age programs recognize that pre-established behavior standards and guidelines are only a starting point.  They know that children and youth are much more likely to “buy-in” and live by rules and limits if they have a chance to shape them.  With this in mind, quality programs get children involved in the rule-making process through rule-making sessions.
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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 3: Bonding with Parents to Benefit Youth
by Roberta L. Newman

When I first began my work with children and youth, I must admit that “bonding with parents” was not on the short list of important goals.  The idea of actually “bonding” with parents was quite foreign to my thinking when I began my career some 40 years ago.  Whenever parents approached me with their concerns or complaints, I felt my pulse race and my face flush as I tried to defend my actions, policies, or point of view.  I couldn’t wait for these interactions to be over so that I could get back to my “real work” with kids.  I didn’t accept parents as an integral part of my work as an educator.  I saw parents as a nuisance! 

In fact, I found parents so frustrating that my husband and I accepted positions to be directors of a co-educational Boarding School.  What a plan!  There would be no parents there to deal with!  We could just focus on the kids.  What a delusion!  After one week at the boarding school, a teenager struggling with his feelings about his parent’s ugly divorce knocked on our door for support and understanding at 3:00 AM.  (It’s not only Presidents who get emergency calls at three in the morning!)  While his parents were hundreds of miles away, he had brought them along in his hip pocket.  He was agonizing about what was going to happen to his family.  His parents were central to his life. 

In that moment, I recognized how ridiculous it was to think I could escape from parents.  I realized I needed to come to grips with my frustrations about parents and commit myself to building relationships with them if I wanted to be successful with children and youth.  Reflecting on my feelings about parents and my actions toward them was sometimes painful.  But this reflection taught me a great deal.  Today, as I embark on new youth initiatives in my own community, bonding with parents to benefit kids is a top priority. 
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An important part of professionalism is continued personal growth and development in relation to the field.  Growing and developing begins with taking stock of personal goals and dreams.  It also involves examining how our goals and dreams are linked to the work we do:   Here are some important questions for staff in school-age programs to think about:


Answering these questions requires honest reflection, discussion with our peers, and exploring appropriate resources that can help us shape our answers.  This article contains a variety of tips and strategies for connecting your personal and professional goals, increasing your knowledge of the field, and strengthening your commitment to helping children, youth, and families through your work in school-age child care programs.
·   Why am I working in this field? 
·   How do I benefit from working in an after-school program?  What do
     I have to give?   
·   How does my work with children, youth, and families relate to my
     personal life goals? How can my involvement in the after-school field
     help me grow as a person?
·   Do I have what it takes to be successful in after-school care?
·   How can I be a role model for kids in my program?
·   How can I increase the likelihood that I am making a positive
     contribution to children, youth, and families every day on the job?
·  How important is this field to me?  What can I do to help the field
     grow and flourish to benefit children and youth?
Excerpt from General Series I, Article 4: After-School Care: Are You the Right Match for the Job? 
by Roberta L. Newman
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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 5: When a Job Becomes a Profession:The Ten C’s of
by Roberta L. Newman

When someone asks you "What kind of work do you do?"….How do you respond?  When asked that question, I used to fumble around and say something like…."Well…..I'm in…..child care."  I always thought that response made it sound like I was enrolled in a program somewhere!  I often talk with staff who struggle with how to define their work.  Are they…..PROGRAM LEADERS?   TEACHERS?   YOUTH WORKERS?   CAREGIVERS?   COUNSELORS?   SCHOOL-AGE SPECIALISTS?  Or something else? Can the work we do with school-age children and youth during out-of-school hours be considered a Profession?

As someone who has visited hundreds of school-age programs across the country, it is clear to me that we do not yet have a clear vision of ourselves as "Professionals."  Until we have that vision, we can't expect others to see us that way.  All the signs indicate that we are an "emerging profession" on the road to professionalism.  On this road, each of us has a role to play in defining and shaping how school-age care is truly a professional endeavor.

What do we really mean by professionalism?  Sometimes we think of professionalism in terms of image.  Back in 1991, the American Child Care Foundation sponsored a national school-age conference.  One of the participants was a federal government official with the Department of Health and Human Services.  During a break, she told me enthusiastically that she thought the conference was marvelous because it was "so professional."  She laughed and said, "I don't know what makes it feel that way…..maybe it's because everybody is wearing earrings!"  Now it was true that everyone had gotten all dressed up to attend the conference, but both she and I knew that it takes a lot more than a "dressed-up" image to make a professional.  Webster tells us that professionalism "is associated with tangible evidence of education, advanced degrees, and money!"

In order to work effectively with others in the field, I have found it useful to create a working definition of professionalism in school-age care based on the general qualities and characteristics associated with being a professional in any field.  I call my working definition The Ten C's of Professionalism.  What follows is an overview of these Ten C's.  They can serve as a useful tool for thinking about where you and your program are located on the road to professionalism.
The Ten C's of Professionalism
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When I first began working with children, I discovered a wonderful quote by the great cellist Pablo Casals.  His inspiring words have helped me treasure children as individuals throughout my life as a mother, aunt, educator, and professional in the out-of-school field.

When we treasure the individuality of each child, we dedicate ourselves to finding ways to help each child maximize his or her potential.  Creating portfolios with kids in school-age programs is one of the best tools we can use to help children discover their talents, abilities, and strengths.  Here is an overview of how portfolios can enhance your program and tips for implementing portfolios with school-age children out-of-school.

What Are Portfolios?

Portfolios are a collection of materials that illustrate an individual child’s growth and development over time.  In school-age child care programs, Portfolios usually contain two major components:  1) staff documentation of a child’s participation in program experiences, and 2) representative samples of work done by a child.
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe.  A moment that never was before and never will be again.  And what do we teach our children?  That two and two are four and that Paris is the Capital of France.  When will we also teach them what they are?  We should say to each of them:

“Do you know what you are?”
“You are a Marvel.”
“You are Unique.”

In all of the world there is no other child exactly like you.  In the millions of years that have passed, there has never been a child like you.  And look at your body - what a wonder it is!  Your legs, your arms, your cunning fingers.  The way you move!  You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven.  You have the capacity to be anything.  Yes.  Your are a marvel.  And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?  You must cherish one another.  You must work - to make this world worthy of its children.
                                                 Pablo Casals
Excerpt from General Series I, Article 6: Creating Portfolios with School-Age Children to Bring
                                                                      Out Their Best
                               by Roberta L. Newman
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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 7:  Coping with Conflicts in After-School Programs
by Roberta L. Newman

Set a Positive Tone from the Beginning

Whenever there are two or more people in the same place, there is a potential for disagreement and conflict.  Conflict is a natural part of being alive.  Even though we may want to avoid it, conflict often provides us with challenges that help us grow, use creativity, exercise self control, and learn how to solve problems.  However, we also want to do as much as possible to avoid and prevent unnecessary conflicts.  School-age staff can do a lot to prevent unnecessary conflicts:

---Create a program environment that is inviting, comfortable, attractive, well-organized, and filled with interesting things to explore and learn about.  Well designed environments help children to be positively and productively engaged in program activities as they interact with each other.

---Plan activities that are linked to children’s developmental needs and are appropriate for your program setting. 
Always ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this activity?”  “How will children benefit from the activity”  “How does the activity support their developmental needs and interests?”

---Greet each child with a friendly smile every day. 
Learn children’s names; use names when talking with children.

---Talk with children in advance to share ideas for how they can work together in a positive way. 
Talk with children about how they would like to be treated.  Stress principles and values such as listening to the ideas and concerns of other, sharing, cooperating, showing respect, politeness, kindness, and patience.

---Work with children to establish program rules, limits, and consequences everyone agrees to live by. 
Remember that when children participate in creating the rules, they are much more likely to live by the rules.  Joint rule-making helps children develop a sense of “buy-in” and program ownership.

---Recognize that children have varying abilities and skills for handling problems and conflicts. 
By keeping these differences in mind, staff can guide children in a way that reduces the possibility of conflict.
General Series I,
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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 8:  Creating Successful Clubs with Older Kids
                                                                        by Roberta L. Newman

What Can Clubs Do for School-Age Kids?

Club activities are appealing to school-age children and youth for a variety of reasons. They are especially appealing to those ages eight and up.  Through clubs, programs can provide children with many experiences that support their growth and development.  Here are some important positive ways club activities can be linked to the developmental needs and interests of older school-age children:

·Clubs can provide opportunities for children to develop social skills and a spirit of teamwork as they work together regularly on mutual interests. 

·Clubs provide children and youth with opportunities to explore new interests and develop competencies and skills that are useful at home, at school, and in the community.

·Clubs can provide children and youth with an introduction to activities that may develop into life-long interests, hobbies, or vocations.

·Successful involvement in clubs can help children and youth feel good about themselves and build a positive sense of self-worth.

What Makes a Club a Club?

When working with children and youth to develop club activities in school-age programs, it is important to think through what makes clubs special - what makes them different from other program activities.  As you do this, it can be helpful to keep in mind the components of clubs in the “real world” beyond the school-age program.  This is especially important for older school-age children who increasingly interested in exploring the world beyond home and family.  They want to be involved in activities and experiences that are relevant to important community concerns and issues, mirror positive adult activities, and

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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 9:  Connect with Music - Connect with Kids
                                                                       by Roberta L. Newman

Making Music a Vital Part of Your After-School Program

Music is a core interest of all children and youth.  It is an ideal medium helping kids make the most of their human potential.  Through music, you can…..

       ·   Create a spirit of comradery among kids as they join together in musical experiences;
       ·   Build bridges between kids from different backgrounds as they experience musical diversity;
       ·   Help kids discover a sense of inner harmony and well-being as they discover their personal
                 connections to rhythm, melody, and harmony;
       ·   Provide kids with opportunities to work as a team;
       ·   Help kids explore and develop personal aesthetic standards about what makes something
       ·   Help kids unleash their creative juices in ways that result in the expression of beauty, energy, and
                 hopefulness through sound;
       ·  Help kids experience the sheer joy, peace, and optimism that can come while singing, dancing,
                 moving, playing, and listening to diverse musical creations. 

It can be challenging to find ways to integrate the many dimensions of music in out-of-school programs.  For example, programs that operate in large cavernous gyms and multi-purpose rooms often find it overwhelming to set up music activities in ways that don’t disturb other program activities.  Staff who don’t think of themselves as musicians are often reluctant to do more than provide children with percussion instruments for free play, CDs for dancing, or time for a weekly songfest.  Yet, there are many other ways to infuse your out-of-school program with the spirit of music through activities where kids experiment with sound producing materials; invent musical instruments; create, perform, listen to diverse musical genres from around the world; explore how music is linked to many other areas of interest - science, nature, math, history and social studies, other arts, health, fitness, and more. 

I firmly believe that everyone is capable of experiencing the joy of music.  To be successful implementing music in your programs, get started by focusing on creating an environment that encourages kids to explore music in your program.  The next two sections contain ideas and strategies for creating a “music friendly” program environment. 

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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 10:  Tapping in to the Magical Rhythms of Summer
                                                                          by Roberta Newman

Summer’s Special Magic

The poet asks “What is so rare as a day in June?”  Songwriters have celebrated summer’s magic with lyrics like “Summertime, when the livin’ is easy…..”   “Lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…..”  and even the line “Hot time, summer in the city!” from a 1970’s song complete with the nerve racking, but exciting, sounds of jack hammers making street repairs downtown somewhere in the USA.  All these songs communicate that summer is a special time, a time that evokes a unique combination of meanings - a time to explore, to dream, to kick back, to relax, to play, to learn new skills, to take time to get good at doing things, to enjoy life with friends, to have special kinds of excitement that seem like magic.

Kids Know That Summer Is Special

Kids know instinctively that summer is special.  When I was a kid, I looked forward to summer as a time full of promise and possibilities.  Time itself seemed longer; more daylight meant there was more time to enjoy, more time to use.  As summer stretched out before me, I thought about how much I could explore.  I imagined myself being someone much better, prettier, or smarter when the summer ended.  I thought of summer as a big warm cocoon which would allow me to grow - to change myself into a grand butterfly by the time I returned to school in the fall.

I treasured summer and busied myself with many self-directed projects, each of which occupied my interest for hours a day, and sometimes day after day for many weeks.  No one told me I was creating “long term projects” at the time, but developmentally that is exactly what I was doing and what I needed.
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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 11:  Taking Indoor Activities Outside for Maximum
                                                                          Summer Fun
                                                                          by Roberta L. Newman

School-age children need daily opportunities to exercise, relax, and participate in a wide range of outdoor activities.  The hours children spend in out-of-school summer programs are often the best hours of the day for getting fresh air and enjoying the out of doors.   Even if outdoor space is limited, regular participation in a wide variety of physical activities in the open air can help children develop healthy exercise habits that will last a lifetime.  Children in most school-age programs have widely varying physical abilities, activity levels, skills, and interests.  With this in mind, it is important to provide outdoor equipment and materials to support different levels of physical activity.  To the extent possible, it is important to provide equipment and supplies to support the following kinds of physical activities:

But outdoors isn’t just for physical activity; there are also limitless possibilities for turning your summer program “inside out!”  With creativity and imagination, you can transform traditional indoor activities into terrific outdoor adventures!  Use the following ideas and strategies to maximize outdoor fun for kids in your summer program.
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·Team Sports (e.g. baseball, kickball, soccer, field hockey, basketball, flag football, and others
   depending on space and facilities available)

·Large Group Games (e.g. cooperative games, parachute games, tag games)

·Small Group Games and Activities (e.g. small group cooperative games, ring toss, horse
   shoes, Double Dutch jump roping, tennis, fitness clubs like jogging or walking, relay races,
   obstacle courses)

·Seasonal Activities (e.g. activities related to gardening, hiking, changing seasons, etc.)

·Individual Activities and Challenge Experiences (e.g. jump roping, stilt walking, learning skills
    for different sports, balancing, baton twirling, hula hooping, opportunities where children set
    physical goals and work on physical skills - dribbling a ball, shooting free throws, rock climbing,
    running sprints, broad jumping, learning to putt, etc.).
Excerpt from General Series I, Article 12:  Get Ready!  Get Set!  Go!
                                                                         A Systematic Approach to Managing a Successful
                                                                         Transition from Summer Vacation to Fall

                                                                          by Roberta L. Newman

The back-to-school season is a major time of transition for children and youth, families, after school program staff, and school staff.  I like to use the old game mantra:  “Get Ready!  Get Set!  Go!” as a framework for planning and carrying out transitions that work.  Using this framework, this article contains transition tips to help after school staff facilitate the summer to fall transition with ease, comfort, confidence, and enthusiasm.  It also includes a set of games to support a smooth transition from summer to fall.
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Excerpt from General Series I, Article 13:  Motivating Staff for Quality
by Roberta L. Newman


I first confronted the need for motivated staff over 40 years ago - not as a child care or youth professional, but as a working parent in Chicago looking for care for my 2 year old son.  There were no licensed centers at the time and few guidelines for parents.  But I had my own common-sense definition of quality.  I searched for months to find an arrangement where my son would experience a safe, clean, healthy environment nurtured by caring people who would attend to his needs, make him feel special, and provide lots of interesting things to do.  I didn’t have much luck. 

I was frustrated and stressed at the low quality of what I encountered when I visited programs.  I was heartsick at the prospect of leaving my precious little boy in the care of people who seemed so disinterested in the work they were doing with children…..

Things have changed a lot over the past forty years, but motivating staff for quality is still one of the biggest challenges for directors of preschools, child care centers, and after-school programs…..

As I’ve talked with staff across the country, I have found many who are highly motivated to provide high quality services for children and youth.  I’ve also encountered a few who expressed the sentiment that “quality is more trouble than it’s worth.” 

Over the years, I have learned that motivating staff for quality can be accomplished in various settings serving children and youth through a systematic, step by step approach…..Motivating for quality begins long before the first staff member walks through the door.  The first step involves “branding your program” with a public commitment to quality through published statements about your program’s vision, philosophy, goals, and objectives with regard to providing a quality service.  (A full discussion of 10 steps to motivating staff for quality follows.)
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Excerpt from ADD Series, Article 1: Understanding the Characteristics and Challenges of
                                                                Children and Youth with Attention Deficit Disorder
By Roberta L. Newman

The Challenges and Opportunities

Children with ADD regularly experience struggles and challenges at home, in school, and in the community.  Without the help of knowledgeable, understanding, and supportive people, they often experience multiple failures and frustrations on a daily basis.  Typically, they lack the self-confidence that stems from learning how to do things well. Their lack of social skills and self-control makes it hard for them to make friends with school-mates and children they meet in out-of-school activities.  By the school-age years, many of these children don’t feel good about themselves.  They feel lonely and ostracized.  Their self-esteem sinks a little lower every day.

Children and Youth with ADD are often unable to maintain self-control and self-direction in informal settings.  Staff in out-of-school programs observe that they have tendencies to act before thinking about what the consequences might be; to ignore or blatantly break program rules; to wander about the program aimlessly, flitting from activity to activity without really getting involved in a productive way; to get into fights with other children or staff, to move about recklessly or defiantly.  Staff often comment that these children seem lost or “spaced-out” in their programs. 

Even in the face of these challenges, staff in after-school programs are in a position to make a positive difference in the lives of children with ADD.  Armed with important information and management tools, they can help reverse the cycle of failure and frustration that results in low self-esteem in these children.  They can make life easier, happier, and more satisfying for children with ADD, their parents, other children in the program, and themselves!
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Recognizing Individuality in Children and Youth with ADD

One of the most critical things to remember when working and living with people with special needs is that they are defined by their humanness, not by their disability or deficit.  They are people first.  Working with children with ADD is no exception; they are children first.  They are not “ADD kids”; they are kids who happen to have ADD.  Each child who has been diagnosed with ADD is an individual who has personal traits, talents, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses which are unique to him or her.  These characteristics interact and, in many ways, shape the way the child experiences and is affected by ADD and life’s events. 

Even though there are characteristic behaviors associated with ADD, it is very important to resist the temptation to lump all children with ADD together and assume they all need the same thing.  It is essential to explore the traits and characteristics which contribute to the uniqueness of each person.  Looking closely at these qualities along with the behavioral characteristics of ADD will increase the likelihood of helping children with ADD have successful experiences in after-school programs. 

Individuals of all ages have unique, in-born characteristics that influence how they experience and respond to what’s happening in their lives.  Problems often occur in after-school programs when staff overlook inborn traits related to a person’s temperament and attention.  Inborn traits last for a lifetime.  When acknowledged and accepted, they can be managed and controlled to some degree.  But generally, inborn traits cannot be eliminated.  Inborn traits have a powerful influence on the way people behave and should always be taken into account when planning programs and working with individual children.  Listed below are brief descriptions of in-born individual differences, along with examples
of how these differences can interact with ADD and affect children’s participation in different areas of after-school programs.
Excerpt from ADD Series, Article 2:  How Personal Uniqueness Interacts with ADD
by Roberta L. Newman
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Excerpt from ADD Series, Article 3:  Typical Characteristics of After-School Programs:

                                                                The Potential for a Mismatch between Program Expectations
                                                                and the Capabilities of Children and Youth with ADD
by Roberta L. Newman

A Look at the Development of Quality Standards in the After-School Field 

For over thirty-five years, child and youth professionals in the after-school field have been working together to build consensus around what constitutes quality programming.  Defining after-school quality is a challenging task.  Many different groups and organizations are involved in the development and operation of after-school and school-age child care programs.  Depending on the philosophy and purpose of the sponsoring agency, programs may emphasize sports and outdoor recreation, arts and crafts, enrichment activities, special clubs and hobby groups, homework and tutorial help, field trips and special visitors, community involvement, or some combination of all of these…..

Generally, standards that have been developed to date are based on the characteristic developmental needs of children and youth.  The standards assume that most children will thrive in informal environments that provide varied activities, choices, opportunities to take initiative, and opportunities to interact in positive ways with others as they grow towards independence.  They encourage programs to provide flexible schedules and stimulating environments that encourage children to be independent and creative.  The standards also stress the importance of providing well-supervised environments that keep children safe, healthy, and secure. 

Implications of Quality Standards for Children and Youth with ADD

Even when programs comply with supervisory and safety standards intended to support individual needs, it can be very challenging for children with ADD to be successful in programs characterized by freedom, flexibility, variety, and stimulation.  While these characteristics are viewed as attributes that support development in most children, they are often overwhelming and frustrating for children with ADD.  There is a strong potential for a mismatch between characteristics of quality programs and the capabilities of children with ADD.

…..this article identifies some of the assumptions behind the expectations of quality after-school programs and explores the potential for mismatch between these expectations and the capabilities of children with ADD. 
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Excerpt from ADD Series, Article 4:  Planning Environments and Activities That Help Children and
                                                               Youth with ADD Have Successful After-School Experiences
                                                  by Roberta L. Newman

This article builds on the information and ideas presented in previous articles and focuses on how to serve these children effectively.  It provides “hands-on” practical strategies for making adjustments that can result in a more harmonious match between children’s capabilities and program expectations.  The strategies and techniques presented are intended to help practitioners keep the basic ingredients of quality programs (e.g. freedom of movement, diverse activities, attractive environments, flexibility, choices, independence, social interaction, etc.), but at the same time provide support and help for children with ADD who have difficulty managing their behavior responsibly in informal settings.  By tuning in to special needs and using creativity to provide appropriate help and support, programs can increase their ability to respond effectively to individual needs in a group setting.  That is, they can increase their program “response-ability.”
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Excerpt from ADD Series, Article 5:  Helping Children and Youth with ADD Monitor and Manage
                                                               Their Own Behavior and Establish Positive Relationships
                                                               by Roberta L. Newman

Guiding the After-School Involvement of Children and Youth with ADD

Throughout the program day, there are many ways after-school staff can help children and youth with ADD connect with program activities and engage in positive program experiences.   

Managing Free Time and Free Choice

Even with built-in routines and predictable events, after-school programs typically offer significant amounts of free time and free choice.  Here are some techniques for helping children with ADD structure and manage their freedom:

Help children manage larger blocks of free time or large projects into smaller components or tasks.  Take a few moments at the beginning of each day to make lists which help them plan what to do 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. 
Provide children with daily and/or weekly planning sheets to plan how they will use their time in the program.  Check with them periodically to see if they need help sticking to their plans or to help them adjust their plans if necessary.
Encourage children to evaluate how they use their time in the program on a regular basis.  Devise a simple form that asks questions such as:  “What did I accomplish today?”  “What did I forget to do?”  What is something I would like to do tomorrow?”…………………………………………………..

Strategies and Techniques for Helping School-Age Children with ADD Establish Positive Relationships with Others

Social skills and social graces are essential skills for establishing positive relationships with others…..children and youth with ADD often have very poor social skills.  Their poor attention means that they are often unaware of how their behavior is seen by others.  Their poor self-monitoring and impulsivity makes it difficult for them to reflect on their actions and take steps to correct unacceptable social behavior.  For the same reasons, they often have difficulty identifying and expressing their thoughts and feelings and are easily frustrated when group activities call for teamwork and cooperation. 

In addition to these strategies and techniques, this section provides a variety of additional suggestions that can be very useful in helping children with ADD build and improve their relationships with others.  Suggestions provided focus on the following areas which are often very challenging for children and youth with ADD:

· Helping Children Use Active Listening Techniques
· Helping Children Learn and Use Social Graces
· Developing Strategies for Encouraging Sharing and Cooperating
· Helping Children Learn and Use Problem Solving Skills
· Helping Children Learn Strategies for Anger Management
· Helping Children Learn Strategies for Handling Teasing and Ridicule
· Assessing the Relationship Climate in Your Program
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