Have you heard of “Out of School Time”?

OST refers to supervised programs that meet a growing need in the Springfield area and across the country. Parents and guardians can turn to OST programs for help with supervising children when they’re not in school.

To help meet the demand for educators, Springfield Technical Community College has launched a new Out of School Time course. Conor Bevan will teach the class. He brings in a lot of experience as the director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke. Conor says the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace and demand for educators. Parents who have to work outside of the home need help with supervision of their children. Parents may want to give up their job to stay home with their children, but how will they pay their bills?

In a STCC article, Conor discusses the “impossible choice” parents face. Organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club that offer OTS childcare services face a growing demand for trained educators.

Anyone interested in getting the training can sign up for the STCC course. The spring semester begins Jan. 25.

The course presents an opportunity to learn how to develop curriculums, make sure children are safe and have nutritious food.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10 million children nationwide head to after-school programs when the school day ends. Some of these programs can boost academic achievement and may reduce health disparities, according to research. The CDC states that OTC programs may lead to positive social behaviors.

Conor Bevan describes himself as a “proud product of the out-of-school-time industry.” A Holyoke native, he spent days during his childhood at the Boys & Girls Club as well as the Greater Holyoke YMCA. He gained an appreciation of the OST programs and services.

The course could inspire students to seek a two-year associate degree in Early Childhood Education. After getting your degree from STCC, you can transfer to a four-year college or university to seek a bachelor’s degree leading to teacher licensure for pre-kindergarten to Grade 2 in a public school.

Anyone interested in learning more about the OST class at STCC or the Early Childhood Education degree program should contact Aimee Dalenta at adalenta@stcc.edu or Jennifer Wallace-Johnson at jwjohnson@stcc.edu.

Hear Conor Bevan describe the OST class on “STCC Around”