May 29, 2020

The Home Base Project

by Matt Schrier, Director of AfterSchool & Summer Programs  

At the center of the wild and adventurous world of AfterSchool, you will find Home Base. 

Not only is this where you check-in and out of the program, but it’s also the hub from which everything happens. Home Base is in charge of the master plan. If you need to know where your group is, what your daily activity is, what class you’re going to, need a fruit roll-up, a bandaid, or a quiet place to simply sit and draw, home base has you covered. This real estate at the blue, southwest table in the dining hall is just one of the components of our AfterSchool program that make it feel so special. 

When school life changed dramatically in March, I immediately set my intentions on figuring out how to bring our AfterSchool staff, Home Base, and all of the other authentic qualities of our program into the homes of our students. A few hearty souls began brainstorming ideas and we soon decided a website would be our chosen medium for communication. 

Kiddos love AfterSchool because they get to hang with their pals, but they also come to shoot hoops with Mr. Parker, make an art project with Ms. Molly, or play some Magic with Mr. Eric. Sure YouTube is filled with hundreds of talented content creators who could teach you how to make a friendship bracelet or kick soccer goals, but we had high hopes of doing it ourselves. This would be our guiding mantra. Little did we know, this would be quite the undertaking. 

Fast forward several weeks after lots of lessons learned, and I’m proud to say that for the most part, we set out to do what we wanted to do. We created something that resembled AfterSchool, something that wasn’t perfect, perhaps a little gritty, and was full of heart, soul, and creativity. None of us were content creators when we started this, and like so many Magpies out there we had the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and learn something new. If you look close enough I’m sure you could catch a misspelled word or a link that doesn’t work, but we’re ok with that. This is a work in progress and we hope with every passing week it gets a little better and evolves into yet another way for our kiddos to stay connected to their community. 

Lastly, I wanted to give a special shout out to one of our newest AfterSchool Magpies, Amber Bridges. Amber not only did a ton of the work on this project, but she is also a great teacher and helped me evolve as a learner.