Besides giving the students some extra opportunities for learning and fun - one of the benefits of having a variety of after school activities is that students of all age groups and classes come together. From our youngest in Pre-K class to the oldest in our Year 2 class, students mix together in each after school activity. Studies show that mixed aged classes foster leadership, teamwork, social skills, and reinforces learning. All of these come together as older students can help guide younger students and gain confidence themselves as 'co-teachers'. The older students set themselves as 'good examples,' helpers, and role-models. The younger students learn how to communicate and cooperate with older students, gaining valuable social skills. When students eventually join university and later the workforce, they are naturally put into settings and environments where diversity is normal. Different age groups, cultural background, etc all make for a diverse environment and mixed aged classes help foster the ability to adapt to a diverse environment. These are all great benefits that occur in our after school program, as students from all classes come together. The best part is, the students do not realize these skills are being learned and gained while they are practicing ballet, learning Japanese language, discovering nature and science, dancing creatively, making arts and crafts, or improving their English pronunciation - they are simply having fun.
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