The Oneida Indian Nation’s After School Program kicked off a new school year on Monday, September 10. The program is designed to provide children in grades 3-12 time to work on their homework and get extra help with Common Core certified instructors when they need it. Youth programs coordinator, Donna Howe, and youth assistant, J’nese Avenia, are available to assist if the kids get stumped on any of their schoolwork. Kids are also given a healthy snack and time in the gymnasium for some physical activities every day.

Madison-Oneida BOCES will also provide a Common Core training program for parents on Wednesday, October 10 from 6-8 p.m. at the Rec Center. Recreation administrative assistant, Barb George-Winton (Wolf Clan), says the session will enable parents to help their kids at home.

“It gives us and the parents some training in the Common Core curriculum,” Barb said. “That way we can be better assistants and parents can help at home.”

The program continues to gain popularity in the community as well. Donna says the program is welcoming several new third graders and a few new high schoolers.

“We’re technically capped at thirty kids, but we try our best to accommodate those that want to be here,” Donna said. “With sports and extracurricular activities throughout the year, there are times when we have extra spaces.”

New this year, the Oneida Language Department will visit Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. to keep the Oneida language a focal point of the youth program moving forward. Kids play interactive games to reinforce language concepts and improve vocabulary.

Other youth programs like the Youth Ambassadors Program (YAP) and Junior YAP are tentatively scheduled to begin on October 11. All programs are open to Oneida Members, Children of Enrolled Oneidas and Health Services clients. For more information, contact Donna at 315-829-8484.