Free or affordable skill-building after school programs your kids will love

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You may have noticed that most children in Canada have additional activities outside of school. Some will be part of a hockey or soccer team or participate in swimming or martial arts (and other sports) after school. Others may attend piano or guitar lessons, learn languages, or enjoy painting or arts and crafts classes.

These activities, besides being fun for kids, are an important part of their development. Many studies have shown “ that children and youth who participate in after school programs can reap a host of positive benefits in a number of interrelated outcome areas—academic, social/emotional, prevention, and health and wellness” (study, 2008).

What are after school programs?

“After school program” refers to recreational or educational (or both) activities for school-age children and youth held after a regular school day. Some may call them school-age child care, extended day programs, or extra-curricular activities. They are done either in a school or at a community organization. Nowadays, they can also be online. The activities may be focused towards supporting school work, building specific skills or talents, providing enjoyment and relaxation, mentorship for higher education or future careers, volunteer work and community service, cultural activities, or a combination of these.

Affordable and high quality after school programs in Manitoba

Looking for a good after school program? Start by assessing your child’s skills and interests. Ask them whether certain after school activities would be exciting or fun for them. You can also ask for advice from their teachers. They can recommend programs that are offered by the school or an institution in your area. Likewise, Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Workers would also have lots of suggestions for free programs in your community.

Check Recreation Resources for School-Aged Newcomer Children & Youth which is a comprehensive list of offerings in Winnipeg compiled by MANSO.

Here are some after school programs that are free or for a minimal fee for permanent residents and refugees (you can also find them in the list above) :

Developing leadership and social awareness

Sources: How to find affordable afterschool activities, United Way Winnipeg; What is specifically meant by “after school program?” WNET Education. Accessed October 16, 2019. Updated April 21, 2023.

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