A letter for All-4-One

Dear Editor,

All-4-One is preparing for some exciting changes. In case you’re wondering, All-4-One is an out of school time program within the Springfield School District, which is part of an inclusionary program that offers support to students and families. The program is funded privately through fees for services, grants, state subsidies, donations, and in-kind services. No money comes from the school district budget; however their close partnership creates the cohesive relationship to keep the program housed at the school for consistency in staffing, structure, and principles. It is through this incredible relationship that we are able to continue to grow and evolve to better serve the ever-changing needs of our community and children.

All-4-One has grown over the course of the 22 years it has been at the Springfield School District. Currently, there are several programs and opportunities for students to be engaged in and active before school for K-5 and after school enrichment programs for K-12 students. Most recently, The SPACE was opened as our new teen and youth center located in downtown Springfield, open to students ages 13-18.

Next year, it is planned that all breakfasts, snacks, and suppers served at All-4-One will be provided as part of the district’s food services program. This will be an exciting change for not only our program, but also to the students enrolled with us.

In addition, with the proposed pre-K program at Elm Hill and resulting student shifts to Union Street and Riverside Middle Schools, our program will have access to some of the bigger spaces. This means the ability to enroll more children in All-4-One programs! Currently, we have a waiting list, and this new shift will allow us to increase our capacity and serve more families. We will be able to provide gross and fine motor activities in the mornings, ensuring our children have more physical activity. These activities will take place in the gymnasium as well as the team room. Plans are already underway to ensure that each child’s personality and temperament are served, as not every child will want to or be able to be highly active each day. We will continue to recognize children’s differences and ensure quiet play options are also available.

All-4-One’s Kids Club program for K-5 is a unique program in the state of Vermont. It is a licensed child care program and one of only a handful that has dedicated space inside a school setting. Most other before and after school programs are “cart” programs. In other words, staff come into the school and set up a space for programming in a gym, cafeteria, or other area that is designated for after school programs. All materials and supplies are then “carted” in and “carted” out for programming times. As these changes happen, we will continue to have some dedicated space specifically for our youngest students, K through first grades. The remaining space will be reconfigured to account for classroom tables and desks, and storage will be more “cart” in and “cart” out for before and after school. The space will remain “ours” after school where we will continue to run programs and activities the same as always. The only thing that will change is where “stuff” is being housed, stored, or held.

We have to remember why we are here – for the students and families that we serve, that need this service so they can work, go to school, support family, or have their children engaged socially and emotionally to enrich their lives. Do we need our own space to do this? No. Do we need a staff that is accommodating, an administration that is understanding, and children to smile and be happy they can play and laugh before and after school? Yes! I believe this can be done. It is done at other before and after school programs.

Please feel free to stop by anytime at any of the after school programs at any of the school buildings. Check out our Facebook page “All-4-One,” or give us a call at 802-885-2531 for more information.

Sincerely,

All-4-One

Springfield, Vt.

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