After-School Care students have fun staying active

Pam Northcutt has worked for the Shelby County School system for 18 years now. She currently teaches the After School Care (ASC) program beginning after 3 p.m. each afternoon.

Patsey Overton is her helper for ASC. Northcutt explains how she has always really enjoyed being around the students, and being there for them with whatever they may need. She makes sure they all feel safe and happy, helps them with their homework, and is always there with a listening ear when someone wants to talk.

“Just one smile from their faces just melts my heart. They are witty and charming and they repeat always what they have heard. Sometimes good and sometimes, well,” she said.

Although Miss Pam has classroom rules, too, the students are able to loosen up a little and relax more in ASC. It is an excellent program, and many parents use this time to involve their children in other enrichment activities as well. Karate, art, gymnastics and baton are a few of the activities many children look forward to participating and remaining active in.

“They all try to tell you at one time about what’s happened during the day. Whether it’s about who got in trouble, what they made on their spelling test, or ask a question on where we are going, outside or in the gym today,” Northcutt said.

To the kids, it is all about playtime, and dodge ball is one of their favorite activities to play when in After School Care. They are usually playing in the gymnasium or outside.

On a typical afternoon, they have snack time first, and then they all work on homework or read for a while. After the students are finished with homework, they all begin activities. They are all very competitive and some of the things they enjoy most are arts, crafts, and board games like Monopoly, Candy Land, Connect Four, Hi HO Cherry, Memory Matching, and card games like Go Fish.

There are seven regulars with up to 12 students that are in the After School Care program this year. Although they are high-spirited, and always right, each one of them can be a little shy at times, too, Northcutt said. “It’s a great combination of kids. It’s truly a pleasure to be here,” she said.

One kindergartner, Alex Gillum, enjoys After School Care so much that one day when playing dodge ball in the gym, he saw a mother at the side gym door. Relieved it wasn’t his mom, he said, “You can let her in. It’s not my mom!”

“He loves playing in the gym, but Mom, he still loves you,” Northcutt said.

Kennedy Tolbert is the community columnist for Wilsonville. She can be reached at kennedytolbert@bellsouth.net.