PJUSD hosted the annual Lights on After School event on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Grayson Elementary School.

“PJUSD offers After School Programs (ASP) at six schools (Grayson, Las Palmas, Northmead, Apricot, Walnut Grove and Creekside),” PJUSD After School Programs District Coordinator Alysonn Cassidy said. “We are honored to serve approximately 700 Patterson students every day after the bell rings until 6 p.m.” The program has a staff of about 60, she said.

Cassidy described a typical day for the program: “First everyone is served supper; a five-part, usually hot meal. We know you can learn better if you're not hungry. After supper, students go by grade level into homework-healthy classrooms for our 80-minute academic window. Everyone works on their homework, their silent reading, sometimes academic activities or games. It is also during this 80-minute academic window that those students who were recommended by teachers to attend ASP for intervention-level academic support, are pulled out for 22 to 30 minutes for that intervention.

“At 4:30, academic time is over and our enrichment 90 begins. From 4:30 to 5:30 are calendared activities, that staff are given time to plan and prepare for. They do some incredible stuff with these kids! The Program Leaders here are truly inspiring with what they come up with for PJUSD kids. Then between 5:30 and 6 p.m. is smaller group games, sometimes student-choice.”

“We are driven by two items,” Cassidy said: “our motto: ‘Lead with Love,’ and our mission statement: ‘We love our students and embrace the opportunity to serve them. We stand united to foster a sense of belonging for every student. We provide them with the tools to be...'better than they were yesterday.'”

Students may be referred to ASP for assistance with academics by their teachers, or may be registered in May during Open Registration night for the following school year.

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