HI4Y Afterschool is a 3 to 6pm program that serves elementary and middle school students right in their own public schools. We prepare young people for fuller engagement in school and life by teaching them how to set and pursue goals, live responsibly in the world, reflect on their experiences, and realize their dreams. HI4Y Afterschool kids play, learn, create, and serve on their way to developing these important skills.
College Exposure and Career Exploration are primary focuses within our program. We offer students the opportunity to learn and practice many aspects of law in our Law & Order club; get hands-on experience in starting a small business in The Apprentice; learn to cook and manage a kitchen as a chef in Top Chef, and explore high level thinking in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities.
In addition to hands-on activities, we invite professionals to both speak with our students and act as special guests in theme-based activity days. Each program area includes trips and culminating events to enhance their “learning play” as lawyers, entrepreneurs, engineers, and chefs. Our theme of College Exploration goes hand in hand with our focus on College Exposure. We plan tours of local colleges, even though our kids are still in lower school to instill in them the idea that higher education is an expectation and right of passage.
In addition to exploring careers, fostering creativity, and exposing students to higher education, HI4Y Afterschool places great importance in keeping students physically active. We offer dance, stepping, cheerleading, and sports to ensure that all of our youth have plenty of physical activity. All of our recreation activities are curriculum-based so parents can rest assured that students are gaining skills, learning sportsmanship, humility, and teamwork, and building confidence in their abilities to perform.
As we understand the importance of nurturing a child’s creativity, we offer the following activities: photography and videography, drama and performance, character development and script writing, costume and set design, sculpting and crafting, drawing and painting, and music and self-expression. All of our arts & culture activities are culminated into a comprehensive end-of-the-year production in which all groups contribute to our grand finale.
HI4Y Afterschool places great importance on small group homework help and tutoring to keep our students on track. We hire certified teachers to support our counselors in tutoring and test preparation. In addition, HI4Y staff take great interest in our kids’ school performance as we reach out to parents, interact with school teachers, and monitor student report cards and progress reports.
HI4Y Afterschool has a firm understanding that academic success begins with the family. We engage parents as primary players in the direction of our programming as we ask for their input, enlist them as volunteers to chaperone trips, and participate in special events and parent committee meetings.
HI4Y is the owner of a 230-acre camp of wooded land in West Milford, New Jersey. As a part of the Afterschool experience we plan weekend, winter and spring break sleepaway camp trips to introduce students to the great outdoors and familiarize them with communal and independent living. Students stay in traditional camp lodges, go hiking, engage in team-building activities on our low and high-ropes course with trained staff, cook in an industrial kitchen with an experienced chef, participate in camp fires, and work on their survival skills all while building stronger bonds with the people around them. All camp trips include time to complete school work with staff assistance. Transportation, meals, and linens are included at no cost to parents.
As part of their programs, the children take on various projects through the school year. In 2017, they learned how to operate video cameras and how to conduct interviews. They used this opportunity to speak to teachers and a local police officer about how their program impacts the local area.