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After-school programs for every kid

Day care: From music to martial arts, there’s a cool place for your kids to go after school

Posted: September 9, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 9, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Jacob Hertan, 13, practices free throws with the help of assistant athletic director Tyrae Jones at the Newhall clubhouse.

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Now that school’s back in session, how do you make the most of that after-school time for your children?

Whether you’re a working parent, or would just like to broaden your child’s horizons, there are many Santa Clarita Valley after-school programs at a price range to suit every budget.

For Cindy Duffy, an executive assistant from Valencia, Shin’s Family Martial Arts Center in Valencia met her son Jacob’s needs best.

“This is an amazing place to put kids. Some day-care situations don’t offer a lot of stimulation, but here, Jacob’s learning about martial arts, self-discipline, and his homework’s always done,” Duffy said. “It’s so reasonable, too.”

Jacob, 9, attends Helmer’s Elementary School, and sometimes gets picked up by the Shin’s Family Martial Arts Center van from his school.

His favorite activity at Shin’s is the trampoline.

“It’s fun to bounce on,” Jacob said.

According to owner Charlie Shin, the after-school program has been popular ever since it started about eight years ago.

“This is probably the busiest year we‘ve had to date,” he said. “We also offer after-school care for junior high school kids. They’re at an age where they need activities or they can get into trouble.”

Daveda Larson considers her family a musical one, so it was only natural to enroll her sons Josh, 15, and twins Jason and Jacob, 10, in the After School Rock Program at Hubbadaddy’s Rehearsal Studios in Saugus.

That was a year ago, and now the trio has formed a band called Lockdown with two other members who also attend the program. Not only has After School Rock, which meets once a week for 90 minutes, increased her sons’ musical skills, Larson, who lives in Saugus, has noticed something else.

“They have a lot more self-confidence, and they get along better. Because they’re a group, they have to compromise and listen to each other. They help other,” Larson said. “I think it’s helped Josh, too. His leadership skills have been honed.”

After School Rock can offer some of the benefits as group sports, as Hubbadaddy’s owner Kevin Cloud illustrated.

“It’s teamwork, it’s camaraderie. If a drummer drops the beat, everyone else is counting on him. It’s one thing to learn an instrument on your own, but the fun really happens in music when you to play together,” Cloud said. “Each class culminates in a live rock concert. To play in front of parents and friends is awesome.”

At SCV Tutors CARE Learning Center in Saugus, there’s an academic focus on its after-school program.

“Our motto is no more homework headaches for your family,” said owner Sue Cowling. “We pick up your kids, get their homework done and checked by accredited teachers, so you can get your family time back.”

Clients can choose to enroll their children for one to five days a week and shuttle pick up from school is available.

Additional enrichment opportunities are offered throughout the school year at SCV Tutors, such as presentations by Chinese or sign-language teachers. A high-achievers program for students in the sixth to eighth grade is on offer, as well.

“We get the kids to start thinking about college, take them out in the community to meet business owners and do job-shadowing,” Cowling said. “We also do volunteer work at Ronald McDonald House, Operation Gratitude and Help the Children. It’s character building.”

Numbers are the hot topic at Mathnasium in Newhall. Open from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday (and for a few hours on Saturday), students are given an assessment test prior to starting the after-school program.

Afterward, students are welcome to come in anytime during business hours and are helped with homework by staff before moving on to more complex mathematical material. Children at Mathnasium range from 6 years old through college-age, according to owner Angelica Hobbs.

“Math is important because you use it in everyday life, and you’re going to need it for any career you’re going to go into,” Hobbs said. “We try to make the kids into good problem-solvers, which is very good for society. If you learn to think about solutions, if can only benefit everyone.”

After School Rock
Hubbadaddy’s Rehearsal Studios
26330 Diamond Place, Unit 140, Saugus
(661) 287-4480
$250 for six-week program (90 minutes weekly) and final rock concert performance
Participants must have two years of musical experience or audition if they have less experience

Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley
Newhall Clubhouse, 24909 Newhall Ave., Newhall and Sierra Vista Clubhouse,
19425 Stillmore St.,
Canyon Country
(661) 254-2582
Wide range of sports, educational, technological and artistic opportunities during after-school program. Doors open from 2 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ages 7-17 welcome. $36 per calendar year per child.

24502 3/4 Lyons Ave.,
(661) 255-6284
Six month program at $299 per month, unlimited visits between 3 and 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Open limited hours on Saturday.

SCV Tutors C.A.R.E. Learning Center
26370 Diamond Place, Saugus
(661) 255-2223
Customized programs start at $43 weekly tuition for one day a week to $125 a week for five days a week. Shuttle service additional with pick up from the majority of Santa Clarita Valley schools. Multisibling discount available.

Shin’s Family Martial Arts Center
27935 Smyth Drive,
(661) 257-6767
Open from after school until 6:30 p.m., late pick up available until 7:10 p.m. Shuttle pick-up included. $500 a month for five days a week.

Star Learning Programs
20655 Soledad Canyon Road, Unit 31, Saugus
(661) 251-7827
Available to grades K-12. Open 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Shuttle pick up and late pick up available. Three, four and five day a week programs. Call for rates.

Six locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, open until 6:30 p.m.
(661) 253-3593
After School Programs:
Five days per week, kindergarten age — $428 month, five days per week, grades 1-6 — $379 per month
Three days per week, kindergarten age — $317 per month, three days per week, grades 1-6 — $283


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