Prime Time is Hands-On at Afterschool Programs to Promote Well-being and Life Skills

Prime Time is Hands-On at Afterschool Programs to Promote Well-being and Life Skills

The Well-Being and Life Skills initiative has been successfully launched; Prime Time is hands-on with afterschool programs to educate and assist OST professionals in bringing these practices to children and youth.  

Well-being has been proven to be instrumental in youth development and can be nurtured through the development of resiliency and life skills. Studies show that when youth can name emotions, thoughts and sensations they are experiencing and then reflect on them in an equitable and open environment, they are better equipped later in life to manage complex challenges in future education, work and life. 

Prime Time accomplishes this by teaching afterschool practitioners to embody and model these skills so they can then effectively teach them to the youth in their program. Knellee Bisram, the well-being and life skills specialist at Prime Time, recently visited The Children’s Academy of Lake Worth as a part of the Well-being and Life Skills training series. Bisram observed an Afternoon Meeting facilitated by two providers for a large group of children ranging from kindergarten to second grade. Following the meeting, she coached them on their intra- and interpersonal skills and on their facilitation of circle structure and youth explicit instruction of life skills. 

The session began with all the children gathering in a circle as they were given an opportunity to greet each other and talk about their day and how they were feeling. They then played an adapted version of Freeze Dance. When the music stopped, they were in new groups, meeting new people and sharing stories. 

For the explicit instruction, an art activity was next on the schedule that encouraged the children to communicate without speaking. They were challenged to answer a question by only drawing their answers. The instructors then went around to each small group of three to see how effective they were in sharing their answers with their other group members. They ended in a message and reflection on what they learned before the children left the Afternoon Meeting and headed out for their next activity - cooking with FLIPANY, a Prime Time expanded learning opportunity provider. 

Once the youth were settled in their next activity, Bisram and the practitioners sat down for a coaching conversation on the Afternoon Meeting and staff's intrapersonal and interpersonal experiences and set goals for continued improvement.

Bisram concluded the meeting with a reminder that these trainings and the implementing of the Well-being and Life Skills programs is just another tool they can add to their toolkit. These trainings are meant to be infused into their overall practice and to create a better afterschool environment for all.