How Can After-School Programs Support Every Student?

In their article in AfterSchool Today, Morningside's Bryanna Kolja and Sully Diaz share strategies for creating after-school programs where every student feels they belong.

In their new article in AfterSchool Today, Morningside Center's Bryanna Kolja and Sully Diaz tell the story of "Scout,"  a sixth-grader at our after-school program in the Bronx, who took the courageous step of telling our program director that they preferred to be called by a different name – one that represented their non-binary identity.  

Fortunately, staff at our program were committed to understanding everyone’s different backgrounds - and to consciously building connection and community through regular activities that affirm every participant. Scout faced terrible obstacles during the school day, and at home. But in our after-school program, Scout found a true refuge. 

Sully and Bryanna share steps that after-school providers can take to promote equity in their programs – including by centering student voices in their program design. Read more in AfterSchool Today (pages 12-13)! 

Bry and Sully, both former directors of our PAZ after-school programs, now lead a new initiative to support after-school programs across New York City in fully integrating social and emotional learning and equity into their work with young people. 

Culturally Affirming SEL Wheel with Domains