In tune with the new influx of staff, Malden Public Schools welcomed Jenny McGoldrick as the new District Coordinator for the Before and After School Programs on December 3rd.
The position has steadfastly ensured that students in Malden have activities in which to participate outside of school hours. Some of the activities include homework time, cooking, or reading books, but all have the purpose of enriching students’ lives outside of school.
One of the main goals McGoldrick hopes to reach is to improve the “behind the scenes” of the programs, which would include facilitating registration. Alongside this, she is looking forward to bringing new clubs to students, finding the ones that are most popular, and making room for new ones by getting rid of more unpopular ones.
After school programs play a significant role in the lives of those who participate in them, as they allow for student enrichment outside of a traditional classroom environment, which, especially through play and fun activities, can enhance students’ learning abilities and creative problem solving, according to Doris Fromberg, a professor and past-chairperson of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hofstra University. “We do a lot of hands-on activities,” McGoldrick reflects, “it’s not school-like although we do have activities where students are learning.” In the long run, this is seen as beneficial, as students explore their interests in an appealing way, engaging the mind and the body through physical experiences.
What’s more, these programs can be crucial to parents in districts similar to Malden, where the lack of district school buses can make it difficult for some to find an appropriate time to drop off or pick up their children. McGoldrick gives the option of an educational but fun program that grants leeway for hardworking or time restricted parents.
She believes that “it’s an important time when students may not have somewhere to go after school,” she says, “...because [the program] is in the school, it’s also a special thing because some of their teachers also teach after school as well, so they can build relationships with adults, but also have an opportunity to build relationships with peers and keep them safe.”