What are After-School Activities?

In society there are many people who want to do something for children. In fact, After School has little problem finding candidates or asking them to undertake programs when they look for citizen teachers. The organization aims to spread its after-school activities to public elementary schools by solving financial challenges, and to make Japan a leading country in the area of after-school programs by using citizens' power effectively. The challenges for Hiraiwa and his team are ongoing.

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What are After-School Activities

After School has 12 full-time employees, who form the core of the organization. Other members include student interns, volunteers (students, adults and senior citizens), citizen teachers and program coordinators. The citizen teachers receive a small honorarium for their work.

Do you know what "after-school activities" are

To join After School programs, parents pay a fee. Sometimes, the organization receives a commission to deliver their programs to public elementary schools and others. In other cases, companies provide funding. Its operations are also financed through various sources, such as grants and donations from supporting members.

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Against this backdrop, the non-profit NPO After School was established by Kuniyasu Hiraiwa, representative director, together with Ken Orihata, vice representative director, and other starting members. They wanted Japanese children to have various experiences and a safe place they could consider their own, as well as to support working mothers in Japan by providing such a service at a reasonable price. They thought the best way to do so would be to start after-school activities in Japan similar to those in America. Their strong motivation led them to set up the NPO and run programs.

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In the United States, after-school activities are set up and funded by city governments with public funds such as taxes and run by non-profit organizations. School-age children can participate in various programs basically for free at schools, safe places for children.

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In the United States, after-school programs have spread because the citizens understand their necessity and the government offers funding. On the other hand, in Japan, only several years have passed since people became aware of after-school issues. Although some mayors of local government are understanding, it has not led to full-scale funding.

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Recently, the need for after-school activities has been increasing in Japan. Reasons include an increase in double income families, more frequent crimes targeting school-age children, and a shortage of after-school day care centers and other places where children can spend after-school hours. In traditional times, Japanese children lived in large families: fathers worked as the main breadwinners, mothers stayed home as homemakers, and grandparents lived together with them in the same house. Because of this traditional lifestyle, in which children were taken care of by the many adults at home, day-care facilities to which parents could send their children while working were not needed, and have yet to be fully developed in Japan even now.

The philosophy of the ISPP After School Programme is for children to learn while having fun in a safe environment

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The three pillars of the NPO After School's activities are citizens, schools and the NPO itself. Only when these three, which have synergistic effects, are in place, is it possible to provide children with affordable, secure and diverse programs. Cooks, master carpenters and musicians, who have various skills, become citizen "teachers" and participate in the programs. After School serves to connect schools and citizens.