April 24–28, 2023 has been designated Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week by the National Afterschool Association. According to their website, this week is “a time to recognize, appreciate and advocate for those who work with young people during out-of-school hours” and is encourages “appreciation and support for all the afterschool professionals who make a profound difference in the lives of young people.”
In Littleton Public Schools, these professionals make a difference in the lives of 1,374 students during the school year and 1,017 during the summer (at last count) through our schools’ School Aged Child Care (SACC) programs.
Each elementary school has a SACC program operating year-round, and The Village has one as well that only operates during the school year.
LPS SACC programs currently employ 112 staff, and many of them are college students who return to support summer programs.
SACC staff fill various roles. There is a program manager, who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the program, ensuring that licensing rules and regulations are met, staffing, scheduling, and planning for activities and field trips. Some programs have assistant managers. Activity leaders are staff aged 18 and above with enough experience working with children to be in charge of a group of children by themselves, and activity aides are often high school students who also work with and engage the children in various activities. Often, afterschool professionals also work in the schools during the day as paras or in other positions.
SACC programs are currently hiring! Loretta Collins, LPS’s SACC coordinator, said, “One thing I love about the SACC programs is that sometimes children who attend the SACC programs now grow up and work in SACC. Also, in many cases, college-age staff are going to school to become teachers. I know many LPS teachers who began in SACC!”
A huge thank you to our afterschool professionals for taking such great care of some of our youngest learners–and making it all fun!