lead and learn
about the program
A child sits at an afterschool programming wishing there were an adult to turn to for some one-on-one time. A retired teacher sits at home alone thinking she still has so much to offer children. How do we connect the dots?
Today, more children are attending afterschool programs which provide them with safe and healthy after school care. Sometimes, however, children need more than homework help and a quick snack. Given overcrowded classrooms and reduced teacher supports, children often can’t receive the individual attention they need at school to address bigger life issues like divorce, peer pressure, and gang violence. While schools foster academic achievement, they cannot also be expected to address the adversity that children face on a daily basis.
Lead and Learn is an after school and summer camp enrichment program that develops a passion for lifetime leadership and learning, not only in children but also in adults. Leadership was designed to educate children ages 7-13 years old in areas such as self-esteem, nonviolent conflict resolution, and service learning. Children are connected with adults, both in the after school setting and through community service projects to learn how to develop and organize projects, reach out to people in need, and practice life skills needed beyond these early school years. Children in Lead and Learn also practice these skills through cultural arts activities, such as performing in the Shiloh Children’s Community Choir, making books about study topics, and creating art for service projects or community events. Rather than focusing on the challenges that most of our children experience, our mentors and partners focus on the strengths of our Lead and Learn students and teach them how they can impact community.
Community it serves
Shiloh community in urban Asheville (central Buncombe County, NC)
The program in Shiloh, based on LightShare’s 2007 community assessment , includes the following:
- Mentoring for Children attending Lead and Learn
- Adults attend the program and work with children on study topics, planning and organization, and service learning
- Children can spend individual time with adults if requested
- Includes two nationally recognized curricula: Second Step and Being Yourself
- Group-selected study topics that children plan, organize, implement, and present
- Onsite and community service learning projects supporting children, adults, and seniors
- Group-selected by children and implemented either as monthly activities (visits to community retirement facility) or as quarterly outreach projects (collecting money for children’s cancer program)
Cultural Arts Activities
- Children use music, art, poetry, writing, and drama as means of self-expression and to reinforce what they are learning/studying
- Activities are also a part of community events and service learning
- Nutritious snacks provided to all the children in the after school program on the days Lead and Learn meets
The entire Shiloh Community is offered these resources:
- An annual Fall Festival and Health Fair designed to promote safe and healthy connections between young and old as well as access to community health and education programs
- Partnership on additional community activities such as the Shiloh Spelling Bee and the Black History Month Celebration
- An annual school supply/backpack drive to distribute more than 200 filled backpacks so children are prepared to learn
- Asheville City Parks and Recreation
- Simply Home/CMI, Inc.
- The Shiloh Community Association
- Buncombe County Schools
- Several area churches