After school program sees success with new workbooks

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A local after school program has a new update to help keep kids off the street and in a learning environment instead.

The Salvation Army North Corp added new work books to their after school program as a way to encourage students to find themselves and how they can do better.

The best part is the students go at their own free will.

"And if they come in and feel like there is something they don't want to do they aren't pressured to stay. They can go. So far I've seen participation and enthusiasm," Cherrilyn Loftin said.

She helps students like Kalisha Green and De'Janae McKnight.

The life skills class was designed to be educational, but now educators want students to spend their time on self-reflection.

"It's important for young people to go inwards, think about who they are. Who they are and what they are missing and what they could do better," Loftin said.

Green is a sixth grader. She spends 20 minutes at the program every day. She's learned how to deal with bullies from the workbooks and after school program.

"I ignore them or if they are still messing with me I tell the teacher, and I got that from the workbook," Green said.

McKnight can relate. Like many of the kids, she lives in the surrounding neighborhood. It's a quick trip to and from the center.

"In the packets I can learn how to change bad things that have happened in my life and do new good things and show other people the same way," McKnight said.

The staff is just as important as the workbooks.

"We interact with them a lot. I'm proud of staff for a great job being a big support and mentor to them," Loftin said.

There is also a computer room, gym and basketball courts where the kids can have a healthy way to unwind.