While we know that learning takes place inside the classroom, we often forgot about how much children learn or have the capacity to learn outside the classroom. There are other settings in which children learn valuable concepts linked to academic and personal growth such as home and social influences rather it’s a friend or media. One way to enhance learning outside the traditional classroom is through after school clubs. During club meetings, students can improve social skills, academic skills and build character traits that impact personal growth. Students not only become more confident in the club topic area but they also in their abilities. Convinced: The next question may be, how do you start an after-school club?
STEP 1: Explore club topics
There are hundreds of club topics such as academic clubs, or hobby clubs, sports clubs, drama club or art club, and the list goes on and on. To think of a topic, you must think about your audience. For example, what would interest middle school students? If students are not interested in joining the club, then there is no club. However, there are ways to increase students level of interest which we will discuss later. If you as the advisor or leader have no idea on a topic, then you could ask students to take a survey to provide feedback on their interest areas.
STEP 2: Determine Your Club Objectives
What is the purpose of the club? Parents, students, and school administration will ask this question. Why does your club exist? What are some common activities that students will participate in during club time? You must have an idea of why your club exists.
STEP 3: Get Permission
Now that you have your topic, you must get permission from your school administrator or site administrator if the club will take place on school grounds. You don’t want to spend time thinking about a club concept and speaking to students about a potential club only for it to get shut down by the administration.
STEP 4: Determine Logistics
Before recruiting members you need to decide on basic logistics such as a meeting time, day of the week, location, how long will each meeting last and who will be the supervising adults for the club. Even if you are going to be the club leader or advisor, it’s wise to seek out another adult for assistance especially if your club has a lot of student interest. Plus you don’t want to form a habit of canceling meetings even for emergencies so an assistant would be able to lead meetings and keep the club moving forward.
STEP 5: Recruit Students
Your club will not take place if no one joins. You will need to implement an active marketing campaign to encourage students to participate. An engaging club will have at least 8-10 students. Design a permission slip and application. You can't hold an after-school activity without parent permission, plus middle school student can’t drive so parents will need to pick them up. Once students express interest, contact parents to discuss the details and answer questions. You need their support!
STEP 6: Plan Activities For Meetings
You need a plan for every meeting. Students will not be interested in participating in a disorganized club, and you as the leader will become frustrated as well. As the adult leader, it's your job to provide structure and direction to make the club run efficiently. Planning activities for a middle school club can be time-consuming and stressful but if you launch a turnkey club like Fly Math Club, most of the activities will be provided, and you just need to execute. We partner with schools, libraries, homeschool associations and community-based organizations to bring Fly Math Clubs to communities all across the country to serve middle school age girls.
We provide the necessary resources to help launch a successful math club.
Online Clubhouse (for Club Advisors)
Each club advisor has access to our online hub which includes the training, resources, and support necessary to operate a successful math club that integrates consumer math to encourage girls to take academic risks. Club advisors also receive an implementation guide with facilitator tips and sample completed lessons.
Club Membership (For Club Participants)
Each girl receives an interactive club journal to guide her through 8 lessons and meeting activities while providing a creative space to develop her academic confidence and critical thinking skills. Each lesson is designed to last 60-90 minutes depending on the chosen club format. Membership tuition also includes a t-shirt and registration for FLY Math Challenge Day.
STEP 7: Launch
Launch your club and show up to meetings prepared with a positive attitude so that you and the students have a pleasant experience.
Grab our free club planning guide. It's filled with action-packed instructions and tips to save you time with planning and launching a math club for girls at your school or community site.