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Research shows that in Nebraska and across America, 1 in 5 kids are alone and unsupervised from 3 to 6 p.m.
Our after-school, basketball and fine arts programs benefit both children and parents, offering kids a safe place to work on their homework, receive tutoring, socialize with their friends, exercise, and enjoy music and art classes. Moms and dads can enjoy peace of mind at their jobs, knowing their children are safe and well cared for after school is dismissed.
"The Shield Fine Arts Academy has helped my kids and me build relationships with people we might not ordinarily cross paths with. And the instructors are great. You can tell from the way they interact with the kids that they love teaching."
- Heather Curry, mom of three kids
Many of the elementary and middle school students who participate in our after-school, sports and music programs would not otherwise have access to such opportunities. These programs provide unique, enriching experiences, offer the benefits of positive mentor relationships and expand the worlds of those enrolled.
Our after-school program provides comprehensive educational activities, such as homework help, exercise, tutoring, literacy-building, Bible study, organized sports, and arts and crafts as well as nutritious meals to nearly 100 kids in kindergarten through 5th grade during non-school hours. The program operates Monday through Friday from 3-7 p.m., with a Teen Night each Friday from 8-11 p.m.
Character Building Programs
Our character building programs offer the opportunity for kids to develop strong communication and leadership skills, grow their minds, and explore God's Word, all while having fun and connecting with their peers. Groups meet Mondays from 6-7 p.m. and include the following:
Shield Fine Arts Academy
Music teaches discipline and creativity, encourages self-confidence and helps to develop interpersonal skills and responsibility. We offer instrumental lessons and classes free of charge, including the use of an instrument, to nearly 100 children and adults in brass, guitar, ukulele, percussion, piano and music fundamentals. Other classes include Tuneful Toddlers, dance, choir and summer music camps and the Shield Brass Band for adults. The weekly schedule of music classes is as follows:
Small Fry and Big Fry Basketball
Approximately 750 kids in third through seventh grades participate in Small Fry and Big Fry Basketball. The program, which has been in operation for nearly 60 years, focuses on building character, along with teaching basketball skills and offering competition under the direction of experienced coaches.
Small Fry and Big Fry Basketball seasons are held November through April on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6-9:30 pm. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Summer can be a challenging time for working parents who might not have the financial resources to pay for childcare or expensive camps. We offer a safe environment where kids can thrive during summer vacation while parents are at work. More than 65 students in kindergarten through fifth grade are enrolled in our summer day camps, which offer low-cost, fun and educational recreation, including arts and crafts, sports, swimming, and field trips.
More than 100 students in first through 12th grade are enrolled in overnight camps each summer at Gene Eppley Camp where kids experience nature, connect with others and learn leadership skills. Themed weeks are also offered throughout the summer, including Music Camp, Teen Camp and Outdoor Camp.