Without the support of AISD teachers like Ms. Spruce (teacher at Webb Primary), we would not be able to ensure that 96% of our kids advance to the next grade level. Here's a sneak peak to what Ms. Spruce had to say in an interview about Side by Side Kids:
1. Have you seen any improvements in your students learning/understanding of course material from your class? Can you attribute those improvements to Side by Side Kids?
One student in particular has struggled throughout the year in being successful in class. She joined SBSK just about a month or two ago and I have seen a huge improvement in her effort and achievement in class. She did not attend afterschool interventions regularly so the only thing I can attribute the change to is her attendance with SBSK. She displays a more positive attitude towards learning and actively participates in class discussions.
2. Have you noticed any behavioral changes in your students who are involved with SBSK? If so, what are they?
The students I teach that attend SBSK do not really have any major behavioral issues.
3. Do you believe it's important for students to participate in programs like SBSK? Why or why not?
I absolutely believe in afterschool type programs in order to help students continue to grow. With certain populations of students, it also gets them "off the streets" and "out of trouble". Students that may not otherwise have help at home with homework or have a way to de-stress from the day are given the opportunity in these type of programs. When a social-emotional aspect (in this case, a religious one) is provided as well it also deepens students' idea of respect for others and hopefully sets the foundation for becoming responsible citizens. It allows students to mingle with others they may not normally do so with during the day.
4. Any final thoughts or anything else you'd like to share regarding your experience or observations with SBSK (considering your role as a full-time teacher for our students)?
I am extremely impressed with the SBSK staff. They have a great deal of patience and show much respect towards students 'having issues'. They truly want the best for the kids and appear to go out of their way to help them succeed. That is always a plus!! The program seems to be very organized and structured but at the same time kids are given outlets to release the built up energy from the day. I am used to seeing a bit of chaos in other afterschool programs.
Thank you, Ms. Spruce! We truly appreciate you and all of the other teachers who partner with us to provide quality education for East Austin kids! For more information about our program, click here.