Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome On Board—THINK Together

Consult 4 Kids offers a comprehensive staff development system that can be accessed along as a user has internet access. As a subscriber to the website, users can access Vocational Training and Online Instruction. Vocational Training is a written training (complete with tests, quizzes and exams) designed for frontline staff (program leaders) and site coordinators. The chapters are written to ensure that the reader has some basic understandings of quality programming and exemplary performance, so that time in the field can be spent coaching staff to apply the learning of the training, rather than teaching content for the first time. Online Instruction, in the form of Minis, Modules, Lessons and Classes, are also available in video format and cover the basics as well and can be used as a first teacher, for staff to revisit and review, or as a tutorial to support improved performance. These videos can be viewed individually by staff, or collectively as a starting point for staff meetings and trainings.

While it is apparent why those of us who work at C4K find these materials wonderful, the real proof is in those who view the website and subscribe for the services. C4K proudly welcomes THINK Together staff on board. According to its website, “THINK Together is one of the nation’s largest and leading non-profit providers of after-school and other high-quality out-of-school learning programs. Each year, our talented staff of 1,700 along with hundreds of volunteers serves 70,000 at-risk and low-income students at more than 225 sites across a five-county footprint of Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino & San Diego Counties)”. The website goes on to say, “THINK is an acronym that stands for Teaching, Helping, Inspiring & Nurturing Kids. And “together” with parents, teachers, school administrators, volunteers and our dedicated staff, we’re helping our students achieve their full potential.”

Additionally, “THINK Together’s dedicated staff and high-quality learning programs have demonstrated they can successfully help students and local schools close the academic achievement gap. A multi-year longitudinal study indicates: in general, students who participate in THINK Together’s after-school learning programs show twice the rate of growth in their California Standards Test (CST) scores as compared to their local peers. Where THINK Together’s after-school programs are intentionally aligned with normal school-day learning, students show even greater rates of growth in their CST scores.”

C4K looks forward to the opportunity to work closely with THINK Together’s program leaders and site coordinators, as well as those who coach and provide other support for these frontline staff members. Our thanks to THINK Together for working with us.

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