Hands On Teaching - 2THE CHILD

Kids-U provides afterschool tutoring programs and summer camps for at-risk youth living in low income or affordable apartment communities. At Kids-U our tutoring focus is on the core learning subjects of math, language arts and reading for students in grades K-8th. PATHWAYS, our TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills) based curriculum parallels what the student is learning in his everyday public school classroom. We use a “hands-on” approach to teaching ensuring our tutoring assists all types of learners.

Smiling FamilyThe Family

At Kids-U our overall strategy is to assist the families and communities we work in. Kids-U provides services to the family meeting the individual needs of each family.
Our Family Services program extends our educational reach to the adults of these communities providing: ESL & GED classes, Adult Computer Literacy Programs, Financial Literacy Programs and Parenting workshops.

Community EventThe Community

Kids-U provides services to the entire apartment community. Our focus is to help “build a better community where families can live, grow and foster in a safe and nurturing environment.
Our Community Service program addresses the needs of the entire community by providing community events & forums, crime watch programs as well as resident councils.

In assisting the “whole” child, DCL focuses on the 4 major areas of the child’s world which makes the biggest impact upon their lives.

Wells and Bechard (1989)(SIS –Student Improvement Research Series) identified four major categories of factors that contribute to a student profile of characteristics that may lead to a student’s dropping out of school. The four categories list risk factors that are school-related, student-related, community-related, and family-related. The likelihood of a student dropping out of school increases as the combination of risk factors becomes more multifaceted. With this in mind DCL created programs that extend from the school, to the home, and then to the community. At DCL we call this focusing on the “whole” child.

 Approach: Educational, Social, Environmental, and Personal


There are other issues beyond homework and testing that affect the at-risk child’s ability to obtain academic success. Our innovative approach to extend our services beyond the child’s academic needs to also focus on the root problems which are preventing the student from graduating includes: the child’s social development, his personal family dynamics as well as addressing the needs of the community the child lives in.   Please read through our detailed Steps 2 Success document.

dcl_logo_2Quality Counts!

The 2008 Fact Sheet from the National Institute of Out of School Time states: “Data shows that children who have access to out-of-school-time activities which are of high quality, designed and staffed by professionals, and are based on youth development research enjoy a wide variety of positive outcomes ranging from school success to better health.” Participation in various structured out-of-school time activities has been shown to have the greatest impact and most positive effect on those who are most at-risk.

At Kids-U our focus is on quality. Our tutoring sites provide programming which has obtained national industry “best practices” standards through our participation in the local “Program Quality Initiative” provided by Dallas Afterschool Network (DASN).

dcl_logo_2What is Program Quality?


Environment & Climate

  • *Provides a stimulating, welcoming, and supportive environment for young people
  • *Provides a stimulating, welcoming, and supportive environment for young people
  • Has program space that is appropriately equipped and suitable for activities being conducted.
  • *Develops, implements, and shares approved safety plans and procedures with staff and families
  • Provides adequate security and participants are supervised by an approved adult at all times.
  • Develops and manages effective arrival and dismissal procedures and plans for safe travel home.
  • *Provides healthy and nutritious snacks and/or supper.
  • *Is aware of, records, and informs staff of special health needs of participants.
  • Conducts all required fire/safety drills.
  • Has a culture that allows participants to take initiative and explore their interests.
  • Establishes, maintains, and communicates code of conduct to staff, participants, and their families.
  • Applies rewards and consequences for participant behavior appropriately and consistently.
  • Promotes psychological and emotional safety through a culture of support, inclusion, and mutual respect


  • *Has staff that respect and communicate with one another and are role models of positive adult relationships.
  • *Interacts with families in a comfortable, respectful, and welcoming way.
  • *Treats participants with respect and listens to what they say.
  • Teaches participants to interact with one another in positive ways.
  • Teaches participants to make responsible choices and encourages positive outcomes.
  • Is sensitive to the culture and language of participants.
  • Establishes meaningful community collaborations.
  • Builds a sense of community among participants.
  • Is structured to create close, sustained relationships between individual participants and caring adults.
  • Has scheduled meetings and/or ongoing communication with its major stakeholders.
  • Encourages former participants to contribute as volunteers or staff. (Programs existing within largely transient areas may need to indicate N/A.)

Programming & Activities

  • Provides activities that reflect the mission of the program.
  • Addresses academic, physical, social, and emotional needs of the participants.
  • *Features activities that are commensurate with the age and skill level of the participants and that enable participants to develop new skills during the program year.
  • *Offers project-based, experiential activities that promote creativity and development of participant self-expression.
  • *Offers high quality academic support, including tutoring and/or homework help.
  • *Offers enrichment opportunities in core academic areas as well as in the arts, technology, recreation, and health.
  • *Includes activities that take into account the language and culture of the participants.
  • *Establishes and follows a schedule that is known to all staff, participants, and families.
  • Provides a range of opportunities in which participants’ work can be showcased.
  • Integrates opportunities for the development of personal responsibility, self-direction, and leadership throughout the program.
  • Provides reasonable accommodations and special materials as necessary for youth with disabilities during the program and at special events.
  • Employs a variety of grouping strategies, for both structured and unstructured activities, including individual, small group, large group, as well as hetergeneous and homogeneous groups.
  • Provides regular opportunities to be outdoors. (Programs that lack safe outdoor space may mark N/A with ability to play indoors.)
  • Provides supports as children and youth transition across age groups, school grades, and school day to afterschool.
  • Offers activities that develop global competencies in youth, build 21st century skills (e.g. digital literacy, cross-cultural skills, innovative thinking, etc.), and prepare youth for college, career, and citizenship.

* Denotes items to be assessed prior to program start-up.

Please review the linked Outcomes PDF on Kids-U Outcomes