We believe that out of school time enrichment opportunities directly impacts in school engagement, attendance and graduation rates. Out of school time also provides a unique opportunity for community engagement, leadership and collaboration that may not be available during the course of the school day. Many Santa Fe families struggle to find affordable programming for the children and teens during out of school time hours and often lose out on potential work hours if this need is not met. Additionally, regardless of the strides made during the school day, students who do not have access to enriching out of school time opportunities are reportedly less successful academically than their peers who are continually engaged during out of school time. SFCEN is one of the many groups that has stepped up to address this deficit and offer quality out of school time programming to families regardless of their economic status. With funding cuts in recent years that have impacted field trip opportunities, SFCEN also believes we have a role in bolstering the number of our of the classroom learning experiences that students have access to through field trips to the diverse range or organizations that are part of our network. We have successfully partnered with Santa Fe Public Schools and the City of Santa Fe to implement out of school time programming.
SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM
The summer of 2018 marked the second year of partnership between the City of Santa Fe’s Youth and Family Services department to implement programming at their Summer Youth Program. The City’s Summer Youth Program serves close to 800 children and teens in Santa Fe, and is the reason that many parents are able to remain employed during the summer months. In an effort to ensure that the program is accessible to all families in Santa Fe, it takes place at school sites throughout the district and fees are determined on a sliding scale basis. In 2017 the Community Educators Network was invited to implement curriculum at the Youth Summer Program in an effort to create a more educational and engaging environment for the youth involved. Additionally, while summer time provides an excellent opportunity for many families to engage with fun and unique
opportunities offered by local organizations, we wanted to ensure that youth had access to these activities regardless of their families availability or limitations. After our pilot summer in 2017, we expanded this partnership in 2018 and added a literacy component to our programming. The addition of literacy building activities into the curriculum offered by each of our organizations aligns with the city wide goal to combat low child literacy rates in Santa Fe and prevent summer learning loss.
SWEENEY AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
In response to a citywide call for high quality after-school programming that can accommodate all families that require childcare beyond the length of the school day, SFCEN has formed a partnership to provide after-school programming during the 2018-2019 school year. Each Friday afternoon SFCEN affiliated organizations provide activities for Sweeney Elementary School Students grades K - 5 who are a part of the after school program. About 35 - 50 students are served by this program on a daily basis. Organizations from the network are asked to sign up for two Friday’s consecutively with the intention that the activities for one week will take place at Sweeney and other week will be a field trip opportunity for the group. Encouraging by positive feedback from both parents and students at our pilot site, the Community Educators Network is excited to complete the year and envision program expansion in the future.
The Santa Fe Public School’s Adelante Program provides services for children, teens and families experiencing homelessness in Santa Fe. Their scope of services include advocacy, tutoring, material aid, programming and community education around homelessness. The goal of Adelante is to help their clients work towards successful and empowered lives beyond their house instability.
One facet of their program is the Juntos Project, a weekly event throughout the school year that provides families with hot dinner, groceries as well as fun and educational activities. Titled the Spanish word meaning “together” the Juntos project aims create a space where families can eat, learn and relax together.
Since ________ the Community Educators Network has provided family activities at select Wednesday dinner to engage parents and children of all ages. From exploring ancient hunter gatherer tools, to potting vegetables seeds in the springtime to creating hand-colored masks SFCEN is always able to offer a diverse range of activities for post dinner entertainment. SFCEN views this partnership as a critical tie to some of the most vulnerable families in our community and maintain the goal to ensure that these families have access to and and feel welcomed by cultural institutions in Santa Fe.