Meet 12-year-old Angela. An active participant in LifeSTEPS’ After School Program, she is known as a leader who takes the initiative to help other students after completing her homework. With a big heart, Angela also enjoys lending a hand at other LifeSTEPS events by serving food and cleaning up. But before joining the After School Program, Angela was on a difficult road. A year ago, on a day like any other, she was told that her father had died from a sudden stroke. Paralyzed from shock and grief, the loss of Angela’s father affected every aspect of her life. Her world was turned upside down.
Carlie* may only be eight years old, but she is well on her way to becoming a successful business woman. A participant of LifeSTEPS’ After School Program since she was barely in Kindergarten, Carlie recognized a good deal when she saw one. She also recognized that her math skills were not as strong as her reading and writing skills and felt comfortable with her ASP Coordinator, Aaron, to ask for help.
Aaron gave Carlie an incentive to improve her math scores using “LifeSTEPS Bucks” for good grades on homework assignments, and test scores.
In turn, Carlie would earn currency to spend in the After School Program treasure chest. Without hesitation Carlie accepted the deal to complete her math homework every day, come to one on one tutoring with Aaron, and work with her mother at home with math flashes cards to learn the multiplication tables.
The tutoring and extra help Carlie received in math has paid off in more than “LifeSTEPS Bucks”. Even though the bucks were the incentive to get her excited about learning math, Aaron also kept Carlie enthusiastic about learning with a variety of resources (workbooks, computer games and puzzles).
She is now completing her homework assignments, showing improved test scores and displaying more confidence at school. Carlie’s mom was pleasantly surprised when her teacher congratulated her for Carlie’s improvement.
Carlie’s new found confidence in math has had a positive effect on her behavior in the After School Program as well—she eagerly comes every day and volunteers to help Aaron by passing out supplies and helping younger students when they have questions. Carlie has discovered that hard works pays off and now is talking about not only being a business owner, but also being the first one in her family to go to college!
*Names have been changed for privacy.