and Professional Development
to the development of the Centre is the whole person
approach to child development. Players should be able to come
to the Centre direct from school, spend an hour with a qualified
teacher doing homework, taking extra lessons, etc.
The Centre, in conjunction with the school, should be able
to assess and address the academic needs of each student.
of the principal goals of The Centre is to appoint an individual
who is able to liaise with schools and parents and construct
academic programmes that fulfil the need of every young person
involved in the programmes. The Education Officer shall be
capable of providing all students with:
A Homework Club
After School Education Programmes
Assistance with Computers (IT)
Assistance in Developing Study Skills
A full Mentoring Programme
College Placement and Scholarship Information
The Education Officer is ultimately responsible for all educational
and professional components of the Centre. This includes coordinating
all after school educational programmes, liaising with schools,
parents, teachers, volunteers, colleges, potential employers,
Need for After-School Programs
the majority of school-age children live with a parent or
parents who work outside the home. Most of these so called
latch-key children return to an empty home after
school. When the school bell rings, the anxiety for parents
often just begins. They worry about whether their children
are safe, whether they are susceptible to drugs and crime.
In response to this pressing concern, very little is done
to keep children and youth out of trouble and engaged in activities
that help them learn. Although most would agree that it is
important for children to have an after-school programme that
helps them develop academic and social skills in a safe and
caring environment, the infrastructure is not in place to
facilitate this demand.
A chronic shortage of quality after-school programs exists.
According to parents, the need far exceeds the current supply
and the demand is definitely there.
After-school programs provide a wide array of benefits to
children, their families, schools, and the whole community.
This report, with statistical information* provided by the
U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, focuses exclusively
on the benefits children receive in terms of increased safety,
personal and social development and improved learning.
* Obviously, US figures cannot be directly applied to The
Bahamas. However, local figures are not available so these
Children to Succeed
and foremost, after-school programmes keep children of all
ages safe and out of trouble. The after-school hours are the
time when juvenile crime hits its peak. But through attentive
adult supervision, quality after-school programmes, both athletic
and academic can protect our children. As this report shows,
in communities with comprehensive programmes, children are
less likely to commit crimes or to be victimized, and are
less likely to engage in risky behavior such as drug, alcohol
and tobacco use.
After-school programmes also can help to improve the academic
performance of participating children. For many children,
their reading and mathematical scores will improve, in large
part because after-school programmes allow them to focus attention
on areas in which they are having difficulties. Many programmes
connect learning to more relaxed and enriching activities,
thereby improving academic performance as well.
After-school programmes also contribute to raising children's
self-confidence as well as academic performance. Children
who participate in after-school programmes develop better
social skills and learn to handle conflicts in more socially
acceptable ways. Children tend to have higher aspirations
for their future, including greater intentions to complete
high school and attend college.
Participants in such programmes will be safer and more successful
in school. If properly managed, the participants families
will also develop a greater interest in their child's learning.
In addition, children will develop new interests and skills
and improve their school attendance.
Potential of After School Programmes
Children away from Crime
value of Sports in combating crime has been discussed in the
Philosophy document. Here, we shall concentrate
on the value of educational programmes.
Preventing Crime, Juvenile Delinquency, and Violent Victimisation
The rate for juvenile crime peaks in the after-school hours.
About 10 percent of violent juvenile crimes are committed
between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Children are also at a much greater
risk of being the victim of a violent crime (murder, a violent
sex offense, robbery, or assault) after the school day, roughly
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
By offering children rewarding, challenging, and age-appropriate
activities in safe, structured and positive environments,
after-school programmes help to reduce and prevent juvenile
delinquency and insulate children from violent victimisation.
Preventing Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Use
Latchkey children are at a substantially higher
risk for risk-taking behavior, including substance abuse.
Youth ages 10-16 who have a relationship with a mentor, an
important component of a quality after-school programme, are
46 percent less likely to start using drugs and 27 percent
less likely to start drinking alcohol (American Statistic).
After-school programmes can provide youth with positive and
healthy alternatives to drug, alcohol and tobacco use, criminal
activity, and other high-risk behaviors during the peak crime
hours after school.
Decreasing the Amount of Television Watched
The most common activity for children after school is watching
television. After school and in the evenings, children watch,
on average, about 23 hours per week of television. Quality
after-school programmes offer children and youth enjoyable
alternatives to television watching during the after-school
hours in environments filled with opportunities to learn and
Childrens Grades and Academic Achievement
Young people attending formal after-school programmes often
spend more time in academic activities and in enrichment lessons
than do their peers left unsupervised after school. Children
whose out-of-school time includes 20+ hours of constructive
learning and sporting activities do better in school.
It goes without saying that students in after school programmes
show better achievement in mathematics, reading, and other
Increasing Childrens Interest and Ability in Reading
Quality after school curricula expose children to an environment
rich in language and print. Quality, research-based tutoring
programmes also produce improvements in reading achievement.
The academic programme that we propose is based around logic
& critical thinking, IT, basic mathematics, literacy and
study skills. These essential areas are often overlooked in
regular schools and are essentially ignored after primary
school. A curriculum shall be set to suit each childs
individual level of competence.
Tutoring can also lead to greater self-confidence in reading,
increased motivation to read, and improved behavior.
Improving School Attendance, Increasing Engagement in School,
and Reducing the Dropout Rate
After school programmes can help children develop greater
confidence in their academic abilities and a greater interest
in school, both of which have been shown to lead to improved
school attendance and completion rates. Students who spent
even one to four hours a week in extracurricular activities
were 60 percent less likely to have dropped out of school
by 12th grade than their peers who did not participate (American
Increasing Homework Quality
The structure of an after school programme can make homework
part of students daily routine. This can contribute
to children in after school programmes completing more and
better-prepared homework because of their participation. Each
child will be allocated an hour and a half each day to concentrate
on academics in a structured, professionally supervised environment.
Students who have no homework, or who complete it early, will
be given assignments from their own individual curriculum.
Increasing Aspirations for the Future
By giving children role models and the tools they need to
succeed in school, after-school programmes can help children
realize their full potential.
Social Development and Their Relationships with Adults and Peers
Improved Behavior in School
Children who participate in after school programmes behave
better in class, handle conflict more effectively, and cooperate
more with authority figures and with their peers.
Better Social Skills
The after school environment allows children to interact socially
in a more relaxed atmosphere. It is reasonable to suggest
that children with the opportunity to make social connections
in after school hours are better adjusted and happier than
those who do not have this opportunity.
Youth organisations in the US and UK have indicated that the
single most important factor in the success of their programmes
is the relationship between participants and the adults who
work with them. Programmes can provide the opportunity for
youth to gain self-confidence through development of caring
relationships with adults and peers.Strengthening Schools,
Families and The Community
More Effective Use of Funding
After-school programmes can help the Ministry of Education
save money over the long term because of decreased student
retention and special education placements. Where there is
a decrease in juvenile crime due to a programme, the police
also save resources.
Family and Community Involvement
It is an essential component of The Complexs after school
programmes that parents and volunteers are available to support
the professional teachers. Many of the activities can operate
equally effectively with non-professional supervision. It
can also be expected that when family and community members
make an investment in an after school programme, they will
be more interested and involved in their own childrens
learning, in the learning of all children in the programme,
and in the life of the Complex as a whole.
Works: Components of Competent After School Programmes
after school programmes can provide safe, engaging environments
that motivate and inspire learning outside the regular school
day. While there is no one single formula for success in after
school programmes, the most effective programmes will combine
academic growth with recreational activities to guide learning
and engage children and youth in wholesome activities.
Common elements of quality programmes include:
Goal Setting, Strong Management and Consistency
Community coordination and collaboration are key to running
Focus on the goals of the programme.
After-school programmes should be clear about their intended
goals. Establish goals through collaborative decision-making.
Manage the programme to meet those goals.
Solid organisational structure.
A successful governance structure combines hands-on, site-based
management with regular oversight and accountability.
Effective management and consistency.
Successful programmes use annual operating budgets, accurate
bookkeeping systems, affordable fee structures, reliable funding
sources, and a strong volunteer base.
Quality After-School Staff
All programmmes run by the Complex, be they academic or sporting
need staff who are qualified and committed, have appropriate
experience and realistic expectations, and can interact productively
with each other.
Role of the Education Officer.
To ensure that the after-school programme provides high-quality
services that meet the needs of programme staff, students
and families. An effective administrator will develop strong
relationships with schools, families and the community as
Employing and retaining qualified staff.
The complex should hire skilled and qualified staff that are
experienced in working with school-age children. Programmes
should also provide attractive compensation and work scheduling
packages to retain quality staff.
Use of volunteers.
Volunteers can reduce the price of a programme and the staff-to-child
ratio. The programme will incorporate volunteers into programmes
appropriate to their skill levels and interests.
Low staff-to-student ratio.
For true student enrichment, the staff-to-student ratio should
be between 1:10 and 1:15 for groups of children age six and
to Safety, Health and Nutrition Issues
Creating safe places with adequate space and materials.
Programmes should be safe, close to home and accessible to
all who want to participate. They should have adequate space
for a variety of indoor and outdoor activities and age-appropriate
materials for enhancing learning.
Meeting nutritional needs.
The Complex shall provide a nutritious snack and other meals
to promote sound nutrition for participants.
Implementing a quality after-school programme requires collaboration
among diverse partners: parents, teachers, coaches, clubs,
schools, COB, community residents, the police, the government,
Strong Involvement of Families
The success of an after-school programme depends on the involvement
of both families and the community.
Involving families and youth in programme planning.
Programmes that include families and children in planning
draw greater support from participants, families and the community
at large. Activities are more fun and culturally relevant,
and capture children and adolescents interests better.
Attending to the needs of working parents.
Our programmes are designed with sensitivity to the schedules
and requirements of working parents. They also need to accommodate
family schedules, making after school programmes affordable,
and where possible provide transportation to and from after
Enriching Learning Opportunities
By providing structured enriching learning opportunities,
after-school programmes can improve childrens academic
performance and meet their social, emotional and physical
development needs. In addition, enrichment opportunities not
available during the regular school daysuch as art,
music, and dramashould be phased in to complement the
sporting and academic programmes.
Coordinating learning with the regular school day.
Our programmes are designed to provide a continuity of learning
for students through coordination with the regular school
day and communication with teachers and staff.
Evaluation of Programme Progress and Effectiveness
All of our programmes are designed to be constantly updates
and evaluated, so that teachers can objectively gauge their
success based on the clear goals set for the programme.
Using data for improvement.
A system of accountability and continuous evaluation supports
programme improvement. With this data, partners can discuss
the progress and success of the programme, which will help
in decision-making around design and funding.
Continuous monitoring and shared understanding of programme
goals help staff maintain their focus, improve effectiveness
and accountability, ensure parent and participant satisfaction,
and identify necessary changes.
Bahamians have achieved academic and sporting scholarships
to various colleges in the USA and elsewhere. However, it
is sincerely felt that thousands more have slipped away through
lack of knowledge, commitment, etc.
As the After School Programmes develop, it is
to be assumed that many of the participants should be competent
to achieve college scholarships. Once we have ensured that
they are suitable prospects academically, the Education Officer
should, having fostered relationships with various colleges,
pursue the best possible avenues for the players further
As discussed in the Sports Tourism section of
The Sports Club document, there are a huge number of schools
and colleges in North America that would be grateful for the
opportunity to send sports teams to the Bahamas, both to train
and participate in competition. It is to be expected that
the facilities offered are of the highest standard and that
we shall gain a reputation abroad for competence and efficiency.
There are already several colleges in The US who have strong
relationships with certain schools, clubs and coaches, particularly
in Grand Bahama. These need to be strengthened, even centralised
and others fostered in order to maximise their potential.
The Centre could, eventually, serve as a sort of clearing
house for talented athletes and students, whereby a
college contacts the centre and asks for appropriate candidates.
Given the huge number of colleges available, it should be
mandated that the Education Officer finds college placement
for all appropriate candidates and that no student who is
properly qualified should be unable to attend college for
purely financial reasons.
A potential employer should, based on our reputation for integrity,
be able with confidence to approach the Complex for references
and recommendations for any member.
It would not be realistic to assume that all participants
in the after school programmes will go on to college. Those
who will not should not be allowed to fall through the cracks.
Here again, the Education Officer should make it her/his business
to ensure that every member who passes through the Complex
is given a full character evaluation and directed towards
the field to which s/he is best suited. Obviously, there will
be exceptions and not everyone will require assistance, but
this is an important aspect of our task.
We are not attempting to create great athletes, rather,
To a certain extent, one of the functions of the Complex will
be to become a kind of employment exchange. Potential employers
contact the centre and suitable candidates are directed towards
them. This should be one of the long-term goals.
The Haitian Situation
The Haitian population in Nassau is massive and largely ignored,
both socially and economically. This will become a more pronounced
problem with time and is something that the centre can also
address in the following ways:
By providing evening classes for children and adults in
English as a Foreign Language (EFL).
By correct application of the Complexs equal opportunities
and anti-discrimination policies in all fields, both academic
By encouraging Haitian soccer teams (there are 18 in New
Providence) to utilise the facilities. The support base that
these teams command is of tremendous potential economic benefit.
By establishing educational courses that are geared specifically
towards the unique problems faced by Haitian children