Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Experience Speaks

KidSpirit Online

KidSpirit is a nonprofit magazine that is written by and for students. Each issue contains writing, art, and news about students who are excelling in a particular area. KidSpirit is known for giving students a voice to speak out on the big questions that we all face in life. The heart-felt and surprisingly sophisticated entries allow adults and students to hear what young people have to say on life’s big issues.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Story

Consult 4 Kids, the current iteration of a commitment to young people, has roots in over two decades of work. Whether as teachers, coaches, mentors, consultants, or trainers, the Consult 4 Kids Team continues to dedicate its work life to improving the outcomes for children and youth who are often labeled, "at-risk". We prefer to think of these young people as "in opportunity", full of possibilities and potential. The C4K Team has experienced first-hand what it takes to run a high-quality after-school program that offers sports, performing arts, homework assistance, remedial academic support, character education, opportunities to provide community service, physical activity and other healthy living classes, all while building strong relationships with young people, their families and the school day staff.

Quality after-school programs require equal doses of exemplary performance by staff and excellent programming that supports student learning. The C4K Team has expertise in both and offers a unique model of staff development that will ignite the passion, enthusiasm, and innovation of staff by arming them with the mind set, skills and tool kit needed to be an outstanding role model and leader.

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, proclaimed, "If we are serious about having more students be productive citizens, if we are serious about having more students prepared to be successful in college, dramatically improving the quality and the quantity of after-school programming is going to be at the heart of our work as a country."

C4K is serious about supporting the dramatic improvement of the quality of after-school programs and provides a forum for dedicated after-school leaders to share their expertise and work with individual programs to provide solutions to ensure high quality after-school programs throughout the United States.

If you would like to know more about C4K and our values, beliefs and mission check out the website at http://consultfourkids.com/AboutUs.aspx

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Student Chatter – What do Youth Have to Say?

It is amazing to hear what young people have to say about the events and situations they encounter throughout their lives. The Student Chatter section on the Consult 4 Kids website provides a fantastic place for people, students and professionals alike, to read “first hand” what students think about when they are asked to respond to given questions.

Each month, Consult 4 Kids provides new questions to pose to students and also posts student responses to the previous month’s questions. The responses gathered by the Consult 4 Kids team reflect the personalities and abilities of today’s youth while providing them with an outlet to express how they feel about the things they deal with in their life.

Here are some responses to the questions posted in July 2011. See what youth had to day about their experiences during the summer.

What have you done so far this summer that has been fun?
• “I went to summer camp and learned how to ride horses.” – Charlotte, 6th Grade
• “My family spent three weeks camping at the beach.” – Jamie, 1st Grade
• “I helped my grandma make cookies for the neighbors.” – Kate, 2nd Grade

If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you go?
• “If I could go on vacation anywhere it would be to visit my family in Ohio.” – Max, 4th Grade
• “I would go to the beach, in San Diego, California.” – Jane, 6th Grade
• “If I could go anywhere, I would go somewhere out of the country like Paris.” – Stacey, 11th Grade

What has been your greatest family vacation?
• “My greatest family vacation was when I went to Mexico for two weeks to visit my family.” – Sergio, 4th Grade
• “The best family vacation I ever took was when my family went to Florida to go to Disneyworld.” – Dora, 5th Grade
• “My favorite family vacation was when my mother took me to Nevada to visit my grandparents.” – Bella, 8th Grade

Who has been an inspiration to you this summer?
• “My mother has inspired me this summer; she is always there and never fails at having the right answer.” – Alex, 11th Grade
• “My older sister is who has inspired me this summer.” – Kaleb, 7th Grade.
• “My camp leader has been an inspiration to me this summer.” Lexi, 5th Grade

Check out the Consult 4 Kids website to read the different student chatter responses for months throughout the year. www.consultfourkids.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Frontline Staff

Consult 4 Kids receives a lot of input from the frontline staff out in the field. We provide a forum for afterschool professionals to share their experiences, challenges, praises, and best practices with other professionals in the field. Often, when we are struggling though issues or problems, we forget that there is probably someone out there who has dealt with similar, if not identical, issues and problems. It is valuable to connect with people in the field who have had similar experiences and learn how they were able to overcome the challenge.

Check out what tips and tricks these frontline staff members have to offer other professionals in the field…

This has been said over and over but I don't think it can be said enough. In my opinion, the first and most important step in classroom management is to establish the routine of setting the expectation for the behavior for the activity planned before you enter the classroom. It works.
Wendell Crawford Site Coordinator, Mission Middle School, THINK Together

I am starting to get really excited about the new school year. I cannot wait to use the accountability model on my new group of 4th graders. I have been reading a lot in the vocational training as well as viewing tons of online instruction videos to get ready to hold students accountable with questioning techniques and knowing the difference between directing and telling. I feel that using the resources on the website during the summer has helped keep me fresh and I am ready to move forward. - Rosa Hernandez, Program Leader.

This summer, my program did not run according to plans. It was like the students completely forgot how to act at school, they were back talking, arguing, being disrespectful to tutors and their peers, quite frankly, it was a mess. I didn’t understand how or why this happened. Most of the students in my summer program had been in the afterschool program and should have known the expectations so I didn’t think that we needed to review. Obviously, I was wrong. I think if I had took the time to explain the expectations and made sure that every understood the agreements for the summer program, things would have gone much more smoothly. Next time, I will be sure to review the expectations and agreements briefly everyday to avoid the misbehavior I experienced this summer. – Victor Sandoval, Site Coordinator.

Don’t forget to visit the Consult 4 Kids website for more helpful hints from frontline staff. www.consultfourkids.com

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Frontline Staff

Consult 4 Kids receives a lot of input from the frontline staff out in the field. We provide a forum for afterschool professionals to share their experiences, challenges, praises, and best practices with other professionals in the field. Often, when we are struggling though issues or problems, we forget that there is probably someone out there who has dealt with similar, if not identical, issues and problems. It is valuable to connect with people in the field who have had similar experiences and learn how they were able to overcome the challenge.

Check out what tips and tricks these frontline staff members have to offer other professionals in the field…

As a SC I have found a best practice…While we remain a work in progress in the 2010-2011 School year, alignment efforts were significant and made the site stronger. To relate a few examples of how, we: this year two of my PLs developed strong relationships with various teachers in the grades they work with and teachers across all grades have seen the program as more than just Child Care; Resources have been shared with the program and collaborative efforts have been made to motivate students academically and behaviorally; The Principal has also praised this collaboration. Moving into next year we would like to work more at interventions and evaluating students with the greatest need.
Shaun Irving, Sunnyslope Elementary, THINK Together

To have the students wear their name badges every day we have numbered them and we do a quick candy raffle.
1. number the name badges
2. number popsicle sticks to match
3. draw sticks daily and pass out candy
I also like to write one word notes on the back of their name badges, like respectful. They really like to keep their badge once they have earned the title.
- April Hueftle, Wildomar Elementary, THINK Together

Don’t forget to visit the Consult 4 Kids website for more helpful hints from frontline staff. www.consultfourkids.com

Monday, July 25, 2011

Childhood Obesity Epidemic Calls for Afterschool Action

In this brief by Central Valley Afterschool Foundation, they account for the obesity in the Central Valley. However, as many educators have now realized, obesity and malnutrition are not area or site-specific issues. Nutrition related issues are wide-spread and demanding our attention.

As an active player in afterschool, it is vital that you take part in the structure of the nutritional approach of your site. Afterschool is a foundational learning and training time – and those values should not stop with the way your students and staff snack or engage in physical activity. See the article below, and visit their site to see the research and findings the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation has made in bringing hope to afterschool nutritional efforts.

Afterschool programs provide a healthy dose of physical activity, nutritious snack and active learning. But an extra measure of obesity prevention may be needed to combat a condition of epidemic proportion among Central Valley youth.

Lack of consistent fitness activity, poor food choices and lack of healthy food access, as well as insufficient health understanding have led to a startling increase in overweight and obese students, particularly in low-income areas and communities of color.

The research reveals cause for considerable concern:

• One in three children in California is overweight or obese. The percentage of overweight children in the nation has more than doubled, and more than tripled in teenagers. More than 80% of obese children will also be obese as adults.

• We are faced with a generation of children predicted to be the first ever to die at a younger age than their parents due to poor health caused by obesity and poor lifestyle habits.

• The United States has one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Obesity is the leading cause of preventable death, and is now the fastest-growing cause of illness and death in America, according to the Surgeon General’s office.

• More than 30% of boys and 40% of girls born in California will be diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that nearly half of African-American and Hispanic children are likely to develop diabetes. It is estimated that more than 7% of teenagers already have pre-diabetic conditions.

• Just 29% of children in the U.S. participate in physical activity one full hour per day, while 62% of children ages 9-13 do not participate in any organized physical activity outside of school hours. However, one study reveals that children spend an average of 6.5 hours a day on electronic media.

Afterschool Poised to Take Action

Afterschool professionals find themselves in a unique position to make a difference. Daily, measured, fun nutrition and fitness activities can help students develop healthier lifestyles in a safe, supportive environment. Afterschool leaders are keenly aware that healthy eating and physical activity will also improve academic performance and decrease behavior problems in students.

Central Valley Afterschool Foundation joins the many organizations around the country that advocate and provide resources for the development of a focused fitness-health-nutrition (FHN) curriculum. Are you ready to kick obesity prevention up a notch in your program? Here are eight considerations as you take your next steps:

1. Afterschool is all about creative approaches. FHN curriculum does not have to be boring or prescriptive—it can simply facilitate intentional play. Be creative with learning and activity games. Give students team projects in fitness, health and nutrition for hands-on learning. Create competitions, awards, annual themes, and thematic presentations. You can even integrate fun art, math, science, social studies, and language arts extensions around the FHN core.

2. Address all aspects of healthy eating. Nutrition curriculum can include inventive, interactive lessons on food groups, eating patterns, cooking, portion control, energy density, reading food labels, cultural food, family traditions, eating disorders, size discrimination, nutritional deficiencies, access and choices, hunger and fullness, and body image. Be sure to explore the rich local farming resources available in the Central Valley with guest speakers, farmer’s markets and school gardens.

3. Ensure that students are active one hour per day. Try to maintain continuous activity at least 30 of the 60 minutes. This may involve games, recreational activity, dance, martial arts, obstacle courses, and competitions. Don’t forget to warm-up and stretch!

4. Develop conscious behavior and attitude changes. Explore the psychosocial elements and barriers to behavioral change with students. The importance of empowerment, self-worth, respect, diversity, persistence, and the social environment cannot be underestimated. Incorporate dialogue and the student voice into lesson planning.

5. Measure progress and change. Are your goals behavioral and/or physical improvements? Will students set their own goals? Determine how you will measure and communicate outcomes. Keep in mind the sensitivity some students may have to openly sharing physical results. Make sure your FHN program goals center on health-promoting behaviors, not weight.

6. Integrate FHN activity and information into existing courses. For example, each day in your dance classes, give selected students a card with an FHN question and answer for health literacy, then have them quiz the group at the start and finish of each class. Alternatively, ask students to set dance activity goals, then keep a record of their non-stop movement activity in class along with pre/post -strength and flexibility improvements.

7. Promote parent, school, community, and staff engagement. How can staff role model healthy behaviors for students? How can you gain parent and school involvement in an afterschool health and fitness initiative or an afterschool wellness festival? What community groups or individuals can support your FHN lessons or provide needed equipment? Dream a little and find the answers to questions that may take your program to the next level.

8. Develop the whole person and add a greater cause. Besides focusing on personal improvement, engage students in a cause greater than themselves. Perhaps you can help them become part of a national fitness or nutrition movement, or join a childhood obesity cause. You could involve them in an FHN-related competition among schools, so they will work just a little harder to help their team. Finally, there is no worthier cause than to teach students how to promote a healthier lifestyle among peers, in their school, in their community, and at home.

Don’t forget to check out the Consult 4 Kids website to see other experience speaks posts. www.consultfourkids.com

Friday, July 15, 2011

Guest Spotlight – Get to Know a Champion for Children

Once a month, we here at Consult 4 Kids put a spotlight on an individual who is a champion for youth or youth programs. We feel it is important to recognize and celebrate these individuals because we know that it only takes one person to make a difference in the lives of youth. Consult 4 Kids is doing their part to thank and highlight those people who are doing good work for children.

For the month of July we have chosen to put the spotlight on Jason Hendrix.

Jason Hendrix has been in the Parks & Recreation field for over ten years. Jason started as a Recreation Leader with the City of Colton and had the opportunity to work in summer camps, youth sports, drop in recreation, and after school programming. Jason was then given an opportunity to work with the City of San Bernardino SKAMP Camp Program; there Jason learned how to run a successful program with limited resources in a community in need of quality after school programming. Jason continued his work in the field of Recreation working with the YMCA of the East Valley and now is a full time Community Services Coordinator with the City of Fontana. Jason is currently responsible for five middle school after school program sites, a teen center, mobile recreation, and a youth council titled Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council. Jason is extremely passionate about youth, and works tirelessly to research, plan and implement engaging innovative programming that aims to give youth an avenue to express themselves physically and emotionally. Jason’s programs are extremely successful, and Jason credits that to his staff, “I have been blessed with tremendous staff that are just as passionate about serving youth as I am, our success would not be possible without the efforts of my staff.” Jason is also a Cal Sac Trainer, and has attended numerous Cal-Sac and CPRS trainings.

Visit the Consult 4 Kids website to read up on other champions for children who have been highlighted in the past. www.consultfourkids.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Student Chatter – What do Youth Have to Say?

It is amazing to hear what young people have to say about the events and situations they encounter throughout their lives. The Student Chatter section on the Consult 4 Kids website provides a fantastic place for people, students and professionals alike, to read “first hand” what students think about when they are asked to respond to given questions.

Each month, Consult 4 Kids provides new questions to pose to students and also posts student responses to the previous month’s questions. The responses gathered by the Consult 4 Kids team reflect the personalities and abilities of today’s youth while providing them with an outlet to express how they feel about the things they deal with in their life.

Here are a few responses to the questions that were presented in June 2011. See what students had to say about their experiences throughout the year and how they plan to move forward in the next grade.

What was your most memorable moment from the past school year?

  • “I remember when my teacher accidentally let our classroom bunny out of the cage and we all were trying to catch him because he was running all over the place.”
    -Julie, 3rd Grade
  • "When my friends and I played football at recess. We always had a lot of fun and my mom didn’t like when I came home all dirty."
    -Anton, 5th Grade

What are looking forward to most about moving on to the next grade?

  • "Getting to know new friends."
    -Robby, 1st Grade
  • “Being out of middles school! I’m excited to be at a high school level and prepare for bigger, better things.”
    -Jill, 9th Grade

What are your summer vacation plans?

  • "My mommy said we get to go to Disneyland this summer. I like Mickey Mouse, and Cinderella too!"
    -Becky, 1st Grade
  • "Every year my family goes camping in Yellowstone. I’m glad they get to take time off work and spend time with my sisters and I.”
    -Richard, 6th Grade
  • “I think I get to babysit my younger sisters and brothers. Hopefully I get to sleep in!”
    -John, 10th Grade

What if you favorite thing about summer vacation?

  • "Being home with my family."
    -Liz, 2nd Grade
  • "My favorite thing about summer vacation is that its great weather and I can spend time outside in our pool or go down to the lake with my family. There’s always great weather, so there’s always a good reason to spend time outside."
    -Simon, 8th Grade

Check out the Consult 4 Kids website to read the different student chatter responses for months throughout the year. www.consultfourkids.com

Monday, July 4, 2011

Education:It’s the Real Thing

Check out Consult 4 Kids' project Education: It's the Real Thing. Voting starts in 15 days.

Changemakers have teamed up with the Project Opportunity Project from the Ebay foundation for "Powering Economic Opportunity" Five winners will each receive a cash prize of US $50,000.

Go to this link to learn more.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

For those that made it through the storm…

In a grueling year for school districts across the country, many teachers and administrators must be sighing in relief for the summer. Budget cuts leading to staff shortages, increased student-teacher ratio’s, minimal material supplies, and of course, cut salaries, are all reasons to take advantage of the few summer months of summer break.

Here’s some idea’s for teachers:
(please note: we realize most of you are on your own budget’s because of your pay cuts and we have taken that into consideration)

Book Clubs
Start a book club with fellow teachers, friends or neighbors. You can even think of a cool name like: Kindle Club or BYOB: Bring your own Book
Barnes and Noble Hit List

Take up a hobby (or finish those hobbies that have been hiding in your closet)
Gardening, cooking, dancing, sports... the possibilities are endless. You can even do some with your kids and friends.

Of course the best and first possibility is to volunteer with Consult 4 Kids. There are a variety of different opportunities, especially that align with teacher’s skills and abilities. Our listings (and others) can be found online at www.volunteermatch.com or give us a call at 661-322-4347.

Visit your city
Getting to know your city can be a great way to have fun and prepare lessons for the next school year. You might be surprised with your cities history or current happenings. Check out http://www.wisebread.com

And of course…for the risk takers, adventurer, and slightly more boisterous folk, you can:

Learn to dance
Okay, you might not be a perfect 10, but definitely can take a chance. Great way to explore new territory and even meet new people.

Create a cause
Be the one to start something in your community. Even if it’s raising funds or awareness for you, personally as a teacher, get your communities support. There are many businesses and organizations that will back your efforts in education awareness.

TAKE the actual vacation.
Get AWAY. We realize gas is expensive, however, if you do some research, you can find cheap flights or even share gas costs with some road trippers. Believe it or not, there are many historic places that are still FREE. Have you heard of the Grand Canyon? Free. Again, you just have to do some research. Did you know Southwest Airlines has web features to find you the cheapest tickets by being flexible with your dates, and even special deals on some Tuesdays? Ask around. If you know a coupon queen.. they are bound to be “in the know.”

School staff… Consult4Kids loves you. We appreciate the work you do. A joyful blessed summer is quite well deserved.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Frontline Staff Basics #3

As a segue between behavior guidance, managing the environment, and discipline, it is also important that staff understand the difference between direct and tell and asking questions. It is also important that frontline staff has some skills around basic lesson design and delivery and the ability to debrief the learning that occurred during the lesson. Let’s first take a look at direct and tell and asking questions.

While it appears to be easier to simply direct and tell (line up, walk with your eyes forward, stay 6 feet from swinging doors, organize your homework space by taking out all of your materials and beginning with a sharpened pencil, and so on), in the long run the question is, when you direct and tell who actually owns the behavior. It is challenging enough to “manage” your own behavior and when you rely on the strategy of direct and tell you are trying to manage the behavior of everyone. When you define and prescribe the methods, you own the results and when the outcomes fall short, it is up to you to “fix” the problem. How much easier would it be to have 20 young people on board to manage not someone else’s behavior but to manage their own? You can do this be simply asking questions. For example, you are going to transition from an outdoor activity into homework time. You have thought through everything that needs to occur to make this a successful transition. Instead of telling the students, ask them, “What do you think it will take for us to transition from this basketball game to being focused on homework in the shortest amount of time?” Amazingly, students will begin to give you responses that are right in line with what you thought (and sometimes even things you haven’t thought of). If they miss one or two, you can simply ask them if they think that something is important. After listing all of the things that need to occur, ask the kids to commit to making that happen, and when they do celebrate with a high 5 and ask them to organize themselves to carry out the plan they created. If the behaviors aren’t measuring up to the expectation, stop and recommit. While this may take some time in the beginning, in the end, students own the success of the transition which is much more important than the adult owning it.

Once the management strategies are in place, knowing how to design and deliver a lesson, followed with a debrief of the learning is critical. Lesson design, in its simplest form, follows this pattern. Identify what you are going to be learning about, check in to see what the students already know (or think they know), identify the learning objective (the take-away from the lesson), introduce the lesson by engaging the youth, share the 2-3 key points by modeling and interactive conversation, share how the youth are going to practice the learning (what activity will they be doing), guide the activity by checking in with each small group of students while they are working on the activity, taking advantage of the teaching moments, bring the activity to a close, and then debrief what just occurred.

Lessons don’t need to be razzle-dazzle. Effective lessons engage the young people in learning and then end with the identification of the key learning and how the student will apply that key learning in school and in life, and then making a commitment to practice the new learning. In after-school we believe that learning lessons are best taught through partner and small group work, with relevant experiences that are rigorous enough to engage active minds and bodies.

When you put these 10 basics together, you have a frontline staff member ready to facilitate miracles in the field.

Plug into the Consult 4 Kids staff development system at www.consultfourkids.com .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Frontline Staff Basics #2

Beyond Professionalism, your Frontline Staff also needs to understand the basics of managing the after-school environment including the crucial time between activities known as transitions, providing behavior guidance, and disciplining youth when necessary. Understanding and being able to put into practice these key basics allows the frontline staff to create a space for learning. When the environment is chaotic, learning is not occurring, so in order to promote learning, and more obviously safety, it is important that staff has base line understanding of these program aspects.

When looking at managing the environment, your staff members need to visualize exactly how things would look and sound if the activity were being done “perfectly”. Each can then compare the vision of “perfection” with the reality that they are witnessing, and then go to work, with the support of others, to ensure that each environment of the after-school program is exactly what the staff member has imagined. For example, if the program agreements are Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible, how will those agreements manifest walking down the hallway, during snack, or when students are working on homework? A conversation needs to occur with students in which they discuss what safety, respect, and responsibility means in the different after-school environments. No one expects student behavior during an outdoor activity to be the same as during a lesson indoors. So let’s acknowledge that by creating environmental agreements and being very sure that kids understand the guidelines in each situation. It is also important that staff is aware that how they position themselves in the environment makes it easier or more challenging to manage it. Staff must also manage the environment by walking around and establishing a presence in each of the spaces within the whole environment, making it easier for students to practice positive behavior choices.

Behavior Guidance is different than Managing the Environment often referred to as Classroom Management. Behavior Guidance is utilized to get a group of people to willingly cooperative with the standards of behavior that have been cooperatively set. You begin this process by being certain that everyone has a clear understanding of the expectations and then through a series of conversations, class meetings, and clarifying activities, establishing norms that will define the desired behavior. It is important to include both individual and group strategies to encourage positive choices and discourage choices that do not go along with the established guidelines that every student participated in defining. Sometimes young people check to see if the program leader (the adult in charge) really means what they say and say what they mean. When this occurs, it is important that the adult follow through with the discipline that was set in place long before the behavior manifested. Discipline is about making choices—choices that are clearly defined from the beginning—you may choose to cooperate with the group and participate in the activity or you may choose to not follow the guidelines and sit this activity out. Students, like the rest of us, are continuously doing research to determine if you are a person they can trust. Once it is established that you are, the more likely it is that young people will make positive choices.

We utilize classroom management skills and behavior guidance to help the program run smoothly and ensure that each student is having a positive experience during the program. One of the times in which these skills and guidance are most pivotal is the transition period between activities. After-school programs have many transitions—the first is the transition from the school day to the program itself, which is followed by transitions into snack and networking, from this activity to outdoor activities, to homework, to enrichment, to academic support, and so on, and then finally from school to home. Taking the time to establish guidelines around expected behavior during these transitions will go a long way in creating harmony in the program.

Frontline staff who have developing skills around managing the environment, behavior guidance, discipline, and successful transitions, will be more successful in their interactions with you and creating an engaging learning environment for youth.

Consult 4 Kids can help with this. Check them out at www.consultfourkids.com

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Frontline Staff Basics--#1

Certainly one of the challenges of after-school programming is having well-trained frontline staff. Many of the people that we hire have a “heart” for working with young people. They want to be a positive role model for young people and to help them with home work and plan and organize exciting events. In order to be successful, frontline staff must have mastered the basics. Consult 4 Kids (C4K) has staff development that will help you get your staff off to a wonderful start. First and foremost your staff must understand professionalism and how to interact with students, parents and school day staff. For many of the young people that we hire to work in our after-school programs, this is a first job, the first experience in which they really are the “adult” in charge.

For Program Leaders C4K has developed Vocational Training, complete with quizzes, tests, and exams to check for clear understanding. Chapter 3 for Program Leaders is entitled “Professionalism”. The chapter shares these 10 Keys to being professional and much more.

1. Learn every aspect of your job as a learning leader. Start to finish, this will help you be effective in working with young people.

2. When at work, speak and dress like an after-school professional. This probably means a staff shirt, khakis or dress jeans, closed-toe shoes, and a badge. Your overall appearance will influence how others see and respect you.

3. Keep your supplies and materials in a neat and orderly way so you can access them easily.

4. Take care to discover what needs to be done to make the after-school program exemplary and then do everything in your power to make that happen. Understand the needs and interests of all of the stakeholders—students, other after-school staff, principals, teachers, parents, and members of the community.

5. Use a tone in your speech and behavior that speaks of enthusiasm, cheerfulness, interest, and commitment, rather than anger, resentment, and hostility or say, “This is just a job.” Be careful to leave personal anxiety and issues out of the workplace.

6. If you make a mistake, apologize, learn from it, and move forward. This will give students permission to do the same.

7. Be level-headed. Know that when a student or parent challenges you, it is not personal. Listen to the message behind the tone and respond with respect. Learn the difference between the “WHO” and the “WHAT.”

8. When you agree to do something—DO IT, and do it to the best of your ability and on time. Under-promise and over-deliver—help the people you work with learn to trust your word. Do more than is expected and always produce high quality work.

9. Handle conflict at the lowest level. Talk out differences of opinion, being open to “seeing” things from another’s point of view.

10. Respect confidentiality. Keep information about students, families, and other staff members private. Your position will allow you to have sensitive information. Be a person that can be trusted with this information.

Go on line at www.consultfourkids.com and check it out.