Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Growth at the ASA

As a parent and staff employee here at the ASA, I feel the ASA program has grown a lot and the staff as well as myself work together everyday to make such wonderful progress. The children that attend are always excited because there is always something new and different. They work together. The interaction with the children is awesome. Although I'm a cook, I feel as though I offer more to the kids other than a home-cooked meal. I enjoy the children and from what they tell me and the hugs and greetings make me feel important.

~Ms. Fields

The Importance of Relationships

I recognize the bond that I have with my co-workers. Since I have been with the ASA, whether it is personal or not they have always been here for me.


The system is working!

I noticed that since we have implemented our new disciplinary system on completion of homework, the kids have been doing very well. they come in and begin their homework and are done before time.


Excited about Reading!

We had our Book Club with the South Dallas Cultural Center on Friday, October 27. It was so exciting! The kids didn't realize we were staying until 6:00 because we usually leave at 5:00 on Fridays. When they found out we were not leaving until 6:00 they were so excited. Imagine...kids being excited to read! :) ~Wyshina

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"A big family"

I received this email today.

I enjoyed meeting everyone last week on my visit to the After School Academy. I enjoyed learning from Wyshina, Sylvia, and Rhonnie. They are so hard-working and very committed to the kids, but best of all, I could tell how much the kids loved it there! It seemed much more like visiting a big family than an afterschool program. I had a great time.

Lisa Vaughn

I don't know that Lisa had heard about our blog before she wrote that we seemed like "a big family." I thought that was cool that someone else got the same feel as we do when we're at the ASA.

Comic Book

I am so amazed with Micheal and Curtis, they are writting a comic book. The thing thing that gets me is how they interact with one another when their working on the book. Let me just tell you Curtis is writting the story and Micheal is doing the illustration. These kids are so creative, I will try to get some pictures and some of the story.

Our ASA Family's Meaningful Relationships

Our ASA Family's Meaningful Relationships

Hello all,

This year we opened up the chess team to 2nd graders and they are doing an excellent job. Kendell Jones(2nd grader) just began playing chess this year and has really taken to the game. I watch him each week and he gets better and better. I watched yesterday in excitement as he checkmated an opponent in 3 moves. He couldn't believe. To see that big smile on his face was great!!!. Great job Kendall!!!!

Hi, my name is...

You should've seen Daedrin (1st) and Joshua (kindergarten) yesterday! Both are new students to the ASA this year. As with all of the kids, one of the first things we taught them was how to greet.

When Ms. Aggie came yesterday afternoon, Daedrin spotted her standing in the office when he went to get his snack. Without any prompting, he walked into the office and greeted her with great eye contact, a firm handshake, and a solid, "Good afternoon! My name is Daedrin. What's yours?" and then a cordial, "Nice to meet you."

Joshua, who desperately struggled to figure out this whole greeting thing when he first came to us, has become an expert greeter! When called to the office for an activity, he was the first one of the three kids to stand tall, stick out his hand and greet Ms. Aggie. If you had seen how difficult the greeting was for him to grasp in the beginning and if you knew how hesitant Joshua was when he first came, you would be SOOO impressed!


Friday, October 20, 2006

Photo Shoot at Fair Park

Recently I met a guy, Dave Herman, who has co-founded an organization called Preservation Link where the goal is, "documenting culture through the arts." I had the awesome opportunity to be involved in one of his initiatives when he asked our After-School Academy (ASA) to be involved in documenting the fair.

As nine kids from our ASA gathered at the African-American Museum, he asked the kids, "What's fun at the fair?"

That was their mission.

Each child was given a digital camera. Each child was sent out to look from the eyes of young and old alike and figure out what is fun for different people.As we walked around, the future photographers in the ASA asked young kids, older adults, and everyone in between if they could take their picture. If people agreed, they documented their photo by asking them, "What's fun at the fair?"

Kashia Jones, a 3rd grader and a precocious child, absolutely loved the assignment! Dave talks about her in the email below:

Greetings, Janet here are just a few images from our excursion on last Thursday. I will bring all the images by the center this week so the kids can complete writing their captions and then we will put all their work on the web. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed working with your group of young folks...the little sista "Ms. Jones" was just an incredible inspiration for me and the work that I do. We have to continue creating a solid system of support for these young folks as they matriculate through their community.

Thanks again,

David Herman, Jr.
Executive DirectorPreservation LINK, Inc.
214.293-5352 office
214.337-3684 fax

This link (http://www.thevisionbeyond.com/Fair_Turner) has some great photos from the day (taken by Dave). Once I get the ones that the kids took, I will post them.I love knowing people who recognize the immense talents our kids have to offer if only they are given the chance to develop them.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

cheers for volunteers

I think the aftershcool program is doing a great job working with the six grade volunteers. Our children have really matured since the first of the school year. They have been commited to working with the other children on a daily basis. thank you again.

I just wanted to say that my children are really enjoying the program so far. I also wanted to say that I'm excited about the sixth grade program that you are trying to get going and I've also notice that the children from last year have matured a great deal since last year. I'm sending a "Shout" out to Jasmine M. you go girl, Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Getting started

Left: James (6th grader) teaches chess to the younger kids.

In our After-School Academy (ASA) I ask our staff to keep "Kid Watching" journals. I've learned that when we really observe kids we will see some amazing things. Our ASA is no different.

I love what I hear as I ask for updates in our weekly staff meetings. By watching kids, we notice that some kids need more help with their alphabet. We have watched "high maintenance"/active kids help younger kids with their homework.
Right: Jasmine thinking about her next chess move.

I keep harassing the staff to make sure and write everything down so we can watch their development as the year progresses. (I'm begging Wyshina to write about her latest observation of Curtis and Michael's comic book creation! :) )

Our "kid watching" updates have evolved so that now they include interactions with parents, observations of other staff members, neat things that happened at the latest fundraiser, etc. Our ASA has developed into a little "family" of neat people and neat relationships. (hence the name of the blog!)

If you are a parent, staff, or volunteer at our ASA, please post your stories about the "meaningful relationships" that we are forming in the ASA. Tell us what you see. Share with us what you notice. And everyone (involved in the ASA or not), feel free to read what people have to say and comment on the posts.

We love what's going on at the ASA. We hope you do, too!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Teen University

Welcome to the Teen University!
check out our blog!

Just For Fun


Marvelous Math Games

Marvelous Math Games
Numbers & Patterns
Addition & Subtraction
Problem Solving
Graphing, Probability, and Data

Language Arts Links






Welcome After School Academy Students!

This page is just for you!
Click on the links below for tons of fun games!

Story Time

"YO! YES?" by Chris Raschka

"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"
by Judith Viorist

"Martin's Big Words" by Doreen Rappaport

"Life Doesn't Frighten Me" by Maya Angelou