About Academic Enrichment Activities
Strong Relationships Between the Participants and Adults, Older Students, or Peers
Social interactions among students and between students and adults are an important component of any afterschool program. These interactions can be the reason for many students to participate in afterschool programs in the first place, and the relationships fostered in the program can be the reason they keep coming back. It is important for programs to develop both relationships among students as well as relationships between the students and adults. The latter is particularly important because the motivation for many students' success can be linked to their desire to please an important adult. Such connections often work best if the activity is done in a collaborative style-that is, if students feel they are working with the adults rather than being instructed by them. For strong relationships to develop, the adult must be invested in each participant's growth, coming to the program on several occasions over the course of time, and taking an interest in students' progress. Adult leaders should have a desire to see the students succeed and should respond to student needs accordingly. These relationships must also be characterized by integrity. Students should be able to trust their leaders to be true to their words.