Bucyrus City Schools achieve results with 21st CCLC After-School Program

Bucyrus City Schools offers an after-school program to assist secondary students who may need a little extra help with school work, but Family Advocate Beth Constantine says they don’t want it to feel like more school. “While we have academic activities,” she explains, “there is a strong focus on character education, building self-confidence, exploring college and career possibilities, and having fun!” The after-school program is provided through a 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant. It is the third year of the three-year, $200,000 annual grant for before and after school academic support and enrichment activities.

A teacher is available before school every morning for both middle school and high school students from 6:30-7:30 a.m. to assist students with homework, test prep, or make-up work. After school from 2:50-5 p.m., grade level teachers and aides assist students with homework. Students are also able to make up tests and work on projects during that time. Students in the high school portion of the after-school program are able to come in and work on credit recovery so that are able to stay on track with their classes required for graduation. Students are also given a hot meal before they go home.

Constantine says one aspect that has made a big impact on students is the collaboration with community partners:

Marion Crawford Prevention Programs – have come in and work with students to develop strong drug and alcohol refusal skills and develop higher levels of self-esteem.

Crawford County Arts Council – have allowed out students to visit their facility and have also come to work on projects with students to encourage them to stretch their imaginations and develop creativity.

Crawford County Park District – Josh Dyer and Bill Fisher have guided tours of Lowe Volk Park to teach students about the environment and all kinds of interesting animals.

Suburban Lanes and Sk8 Factory – Students who have excellent attendance and behavior during the school day and at the program earn the privilege of going on fun field trips.

Crawford Soil and Water Agency – Diane Sand has been a frequent visitor to the program, offering many hands-on classroom programs covering many conservation topics that meet the Ohio Academic Content Standards.

Crawford Success Center – Amanda Sheets from CSC is always available to provide programming for middle school and high school students pertaining to developing good study habits, thinking about their future career, and general information about college.

Constantine says currently 35 students are registered for the program at the secondary level with about 25 attending on a daily basis. Students are invited to attend the program based on teacher recommendation, test scores, and daily classroom performance. “Once we have reached out to all students recommended by teachers, we open registration up to any student that might want to join, but students understand that it is a privilege to be in the program and that their regular attendance and appropriate behavior is an important condition of their participation.”

According to Constantine, they host several family engagement nights each school year, where family members are invited to come and spend quality time together with their student. Past events have included community resource nights, literacy nights when families participate in hands-on literacy activities and had the opportunity to shop together at our school book fair, free admission to basketball and football games, free admission to the school musical, and Make it/Take it cooking classes.

Students who meet an attendance requirement and whose families attend a certain number of family engagement events are eligible to earn family passes to Aumiller Park Pool, provided by a partnership with the City of Bucyrus.

The benefits of regular participation in the after-school program have been numerous. Many students have seen improvements in subject areas with the extra help and time to complete assignments. High school students who were credit deficient have earned credits that have allowed them to be eligible for graduation. Students often share that they like the individual attention they receive and like being able to get their homework done before they go home. Some of the students have even shared that they are getting fewer detentions because they are working to be eligible for the various incentives.

For more information or questions about the program, please contact Beth Constantine at bconstantine@bucyrusschools.org.