Fact is, the Grand Canyon was formed primarily as a result of the erosive activity of the Colorado River. Science has found that the Canyon displays rock formations that were formed over 1 billion years ago (the new formations are a mere 500 million years old.) The Colorado River, which is young by comparison—only about 70 million years old, began to slowly and surely carve out the Canyon. Now the River did not do it completely on its own, there are geological records of uplift, tectonic plate movement, and erosion by wind, but when it comes down to the primary cause, the Colorado River takes center stage.
Now you may be asking yourself what in the world the Grand Canyon has to do with the after-school program. This is a reasonable question. I think that the lesson of the Colorado River is to NEVER give up, to just keep on, keeping on. Over time, the results can truly be amazing. When we work with young people, we don’t always see the immediate change that we would like to witness. Instead we see a slow, drawn out process that results in minuscule changes. We need to remember that that it is the combination of these minuscule changes that make the difference in the lives of students.
Education is the name of the game. We must understand that learning is continuous and ongoing. Education includes the changing of paradigms and how folks regard the things that are around them. For many, the after-school program is simply babysitting and homework help. For those of us that work in this program we know that it is much, much more. It is an opportunity to change the landscape by changing lives. Your work is infinitely important. Celebrate it by sharing it with others and being a champion for both kids and the work that you do! Make it your goal to change the paradigm of someone who does not yet understand the value-add of after-school programs.