Studies prove that keeping kids active in after-school activities is the best way to help them succeed. An occupied mind and body has less room for potentially troubling distractions that can pull the focus of a young person away from succeeding. We sought out some advice from an education expert on the best ways to keep kids active after the final school bell has rung.
Casey Swan
Michigan Virtual Charter Academy (MVCA)
678 Front Ave., Suite 190
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(877) 794-9427
mvca.k12.comCasey has been involved with education for the past 13 years. She has taught middle school and elementary grade levels, as well as reviewed and created professional development modules for teachers. She completed her B.S. in Education from Central Michigan University in 2003 and she is presently in the Educational Technology graduate program at Grand Valley State University. Currently, she is in her fourth year at Michigan Virtual Charter Academy and works as an Instructional Coach for grades K-2. She loves to spend time on Michigan lakes with her two children and her husband.

Michigan Virtual Charter Academy is a full-time, tuition-free online public charter school authorized by Grand Valley State University. Open to students statewide in grades K-12, MVCA offers students a unique learning experience, and with support from Michigan-certified teachers, it provides the individualized attention and learning tools students need to succeed – both in school and beyond.

SportsMost students enjoy being a part of a team, practicing various skills with their peers and the challenging physical aspects that organized sports can provide. These can be traditional sports, such as soccer, basketball and volleyball, or more individualized sports, including karate, swimming and gymnastics.

TheaterThis activity allows a student’s creativity to flow. It permits students to express themselves, become more self-confident and practice their public speaking. A student can also choose to be behind the scenes and learn set and costume design, lighting and sound – the possibilities are endless.

MusicLike theatre, students can experience the many different aspects of this activity. Students learn how to read and compose music and can interact with others, including gaining the valuable experience of being a part of performance concerts.

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Academic Extension ClassesAlso gaining in popularity are different tutoring or learning centers. Many of these centers allow students to work one-on-one with an instructor in the areas of math, science and reading. These tend to work well because they provide the student with instruction from someone other than their learning coach (parent) or teacher. Popular franchises include Mathnasium, Mad Science and Sylvan. While these centers help improve student understanding, they also provide valuable practice and a confidence boost.

Virtual Kids ClubsSince our students are all over the state, sometimes cost and location can affect the programs available to parents of children in K12 virtual academies, so they all have access to our Virtual Clubs. K12 Clubs include hundreds of different options and allow students to connect locally as well as nationwide. Some choices include foreign interests, hobbies, music, quiz bowl and success builders, among many others.

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Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.

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