Threshold Learning Center - Zearing, Iowa
After-School Programs

The Kids Club After-school Program is a new venture in Zearing, Iowa for children in grades 4-8. Our instructors are from Threshold Learning Center, both of them with daycare experience and over 15 years of experience in education and outdoor education. These will run during the entire school year. Our daily activities start after school and include: playtime, snack, and homework/reading time, followed by our themed programs (these usually run about an hour).

There will be on-going service learning projects, as well as hands-on programs in science, Iowa and American History, nature appreciation, and environmental studies. One of our biggest service-learning projects is the Community Garden. A community garden was planted to help teach local students about plant life, responsibility, and community service. Half of the produce is used by TLC groups and half is donated to a Marshalltown homeless shelter. Each theme ends with a field trip off site.  Other themes and service projects include:

  • Fall/Animal Preparation for Winter/Animal Shelter fundraiser
  • Christmas Around the World/Adopt A Family
  • Winter Fun
  • Birding with our Care Center Buddies/Building a Birdblind
  • Spring wildflower hikes
  • Earth Day activities
  • Water quality testing/building bridges

In larger communities, parents have a wide variety of enriching after-school options and activities to choose from, all offering a safe and stimulating atmosphere. A parent who works and cannot afford child care for their older elementary children can sign their child up for these programs and know they are going to be taken care of.  There is nothing like that in Zearing, McCallsburg, Colo, and many of the other small communities.  Children tend to "roam" these small towns after school with nothing to do (except their homework, of course) and their parents cannot afford childcare.  TLC believes children in rural areas should have the same opportunities for enrichment as those residing in larger communities.  Several studies have shown that when kids are supervised after school they tend to get into less trouble and do better in school.  These studies also indicate a nurturing relationship with a caring adult mentor fosters better decision making skills that can stear a child away from drug use, crime, and vandalism.

TLC consistently seeks grant monies to help reduce or even eliminate the cost of programs for those in need.  We would like to be able to offer scholarships or reduced fees for our Kids Club programs, but as a new non-profit organization, we are unable to do so at this time.  If you would like to help, please see our Support TLC page.