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Beyond the Bell


Many parents are faced with the dilemma of what to do with their kids after school while they work. Some are fortunate enough to have older children, family or friends that can look after their kids during this time. Unfortunately, many parents do not have these options. While some schools offer after-school care, there are still many that have no such program. Non-school affiliated programs may be great, but they are often too costly for parents to consider them as a reasonable option. It is with this in mind that we offer the Beyond the Bell after-school program at Fort Decatur.


According to the U.S. Department of Education, after-school programs are an effective way to keep children safe and supervised. Experts also believe that the after-school hours are an opportunity to further engage students in academic, social, and physical activities. As former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley noted, "Children's minds don't close down at 3 p.m." (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). We would like to take full advantage of this opportunity.


As part of the Beyond the Bell program, students will benefit from a positive learning environment that allows them to complete homework as well as receive help, if needed, to complete assignments.   The allotted time frame will ensure students have ample time to complete their assignments. Students who have finished their homework will be offered the opportunity to engage in learning activities as a group. These activities promote cooperation, critical thinking and fun.


When the work is done, it’s time to play! Having access to the gym, game room, and all of Fort Decatur’s equipment allows Program Coordinator Crystal Goff and her program staff to come up with a seemingly endless number of games and activities to get the kids physically active and socially engaged. Kids will also have the chance to explore their creative sides with enjoyable arts and crafts projects. A light snack is also included to keep the children focused and energized.


Here is some final food for thought: A 1998 government study reported that students in after-school programs generally handled conflicts better, were more cooperative with adults and with peers, and had better social skills (U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice). 


Decatur Parks and Recreation is committed to offering safe, quality programs to the citizens of Decatur. Staff and volunteers for the Beyond the Bell program have received thorough background checks and will take excellent care of your children.   Be sure to check out the many other programs offered by DPR to citizens of all ages!

Beyond the Bell
When:            Monday through Friday throughout school year
Who:              Students from Kindergarten to 5th grade.
Where:           Fort Decatur Recreation Center: 610 4th Ave, SE
Contacts:       Chrystal Goff or Suzanne Langdon   245-341-4940
Sean Dailey
Ft. Decatur Recreation Center

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