Michigan State University’s after-school programs really shine

AwardMichigan State University plays a key role in not only adults educational development but also that of young children and teens. Through a wide variety of channels, MSU is finding ways to increase interest in learning and forming a pathway for future college graduates.

One such program has has received praise for having an innovative approach to teaching which results in lasting effects. The GET City program was awarded the 2012 Afterschool Innovator Award. Thanks to the Afterschool Alliance and the Metlife Foundation, the GET City program will receive a $10,000 prize to aid in its mission. The rare honor was given to only 5 programs nationwide.

Angela Barton and Scott Barton, both professors at MSU help direct the program along side the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing. “It’s a great honor to be recognized for our work helping youth, opening their minds at a time [middle school] when they typically lose interest in science,” said Angela Calabrese Barton. “We are enabling the kids to be bridge builders, change agents who make science accessible to the community.”

Angela Barton says the funds will be used to purchase iPads which will be key in engaging children’s interest. The GET City program currently serves 30 middle schools focusing on the most challenged neighborhoods with high rates of poverty.

MSU athletes will also be out on the town this Halloween to celebrate Lights On Afterschool, a holiday event sponsored by MSU, the Greater Gallatin United Way and Gallatin Valley Mall. The students will be there to help bring light to the kidsLINK programs across the state that provide vital after school programs.

With 24 locations and more than 2,000 children participating, kidsLINK provides a safe, healthy environment for children to learn and grow. The program helps kids with support with homework, activities and a health snack even to children without the means to pay.

As part of the celebration the Gallatin Valley Mall will have it’s annual trick-or-treat from 5pm to 8pm and costume contest. Everyone attending will also receive a complementary family or group portrait to remember the event.