After School Students Benefit from New Partnerships

ARCHS has formed new partnerships with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri and Saint Louis University to enhance the quality of programming in its After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) students.

Girl Scouts' BFF Program

The Girls Scouts are currently turning ASAP students into leaders through its character development curriculum, "Be a Friend First" (BFF), at five after school sites. BFF is an eight-week program created to help girls develop healthy relationship skills, understand relational aggression, and learn about conflict resolution and bullying prevention.

"After school programs are a great forum to reach girls for non-formal instruction. One of the aims of ASAP is to build student social and life skills and develop character," said Michelle Johnson, Grant Programs Manager for the Girls Scouts of Eastern Missouri.

Johnson believes BFF not only builds character, but it also helps strengthen self-confidence, identifies bully exclusive behaviors, teaches how to resolve conflicts peacefully and constructively, builds trusting relationships with classmates, and helps girls to feel empowered to create a culture of peace.

"Girls will work on a project of their own design to address bullying in their school and this kind of taking action is key to Girl Scouts -making the world a better place," Johnson said.

The program, which is based on the Girl Scouts national leadership curriculum, is currently being taught at ASAP after school sites at Adams Park Community Center, and Dunbar, Fairview, Hanrahan, and Mann elementary schools.

Saint Louis University's "1,000 Tickets Initiative"

ASAP after school students are going blue for winter through a new partnership that is providing tickets to Saint Louis Billikens men's basketball games.

Saint Louis University's "1,000 Tickets Initiative" reaches out to community organizations, and donates tickets to home basketball games at Chaifetz Arena .

"Quality after school programming is a vital contribution to our community that has a positive impact. Increased quality and access to after school programs contributes to improved educational outcomes, which is a great gift to our children and our community," said Kitty Lohrum, Saint Louis University Development Director. "We are delighted ARCHS' ASAP program was able to join us this year, and we look forward to their participation for many years to come."

Saint Louis University has donated 180 tickets to Billikens' games this year.

Lohrum said that in fulfillment with its Jesuit mission, Saint Louis University is committed to the service of faith and promotion of justice. And at the university, they seek to graduate women and men for others, and one of the ways to accomplish that is by collaborating with community organizations.