Microsoft Hosting Free Summer Camp Programs

Microsoft is offering free technology summer camps to kids at their retail stores across the country. Students can take classes on movies, digital arts and gaming. The camps are offered to kids ages 8-13.  And (drum roll) registration is free! To learn more, visit the Microsoft Summer Camp Website (


The Rising Costs of Sports for Generation Z

In a recent TIME article, Doug Glanville of ESPN (and former MLB player) explained the epidemic confronting parents when paying for their children’s athletic activities. Relying on Mark Hyman’s research in “The Most Expensive Game in Town,” Glanville highlights the dilemmas faced by moms and dads, the misconceptions of families that a child may become a professional athlete and the outlandish costs for premier instruction.  A parent, for example, may spend $55,000 a year at IMG Golf Academy or $700 an hour for a private quarterback coach.  While reading the article, a parent cannot help but wish there was a resource to discover more affordable opportunities for the next generation…

Soon, there will be:

The Extracurricular Crisis and The Future of Afterschool Programs in the USA

The  “Entertainment and Sports Lawyer” recently published an article on the future of afterschool activities that was written by Evan Fieldman, our CEO and Co-Founder. The article, A Temporary Band-Aid: Pay-to-Play Fees and The Extracurricular Crisis, analyzes the implications of charging students fees to participate in sports and arts programs at public schools. Highlights include:

  • School districts in 33 states charge students pay-to-play fees.
  • Pay-to-play fees for a single student may be more than $700 per activity in one season.
  • States across the country are eliminating public funding for school sponsored extracurricular activities.

You can read the article here: ABA – Entertainment and Sports Lawyer.

Fun, Safety and Achievement: The Benefits of Afterschool Activities in 3 Words (Sort of…)

Children, parents and educators recognize the importance of afterschool activities. However, when asked why extracurricular programs are essential to a student’s development, many advocates are not familiar with the research and statistics to support their intuitions. Below are a few buzz words, studies and facts to illustrate the benefits of afterschool programs:

1) Fun: Afterschool programs are a catalyst for a student’s happiness, health and confidence. Yet, as schools face budget crises, municipalities are eliminating sports and arts programs. Without these athletic and creative outlets within schools, the opportunities for students to make friends, stay fit and interact with classmates are vanishing. As a result, activities offered by non-profit organizations, cultural institutions and recreational leagues are becoming even more significant.

2) Safety: The hours between 3pm to 6pm are a tipping point for a student. The peak time for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs is after the school bell rings. When the school day ends, communities (which includes families!) should do their best to ensure kids remain supervised. Simply said, afterschool programs keep kids out of trouble.

3) Achievement: What is the one characteristic 95% of the Fortune 500 CEO’s have in common? Participation in extracurricular activities while in high school. Studies indicate that involvement in afterschool programs results in improved grades, higher graduation rates and increased rate of acceptance to college.  If afterschool activities are correlated to a high school student’s success, why do only 8% of teenagers participate?

In the near future, you will find the best youth opportunities in sports, entertainment and innovation at For afterschool programs (non-profits, small businesses and franchises) who want to be featured on, please register at: 

Who, What, Why and When: 4 Questions To Ask Kids When Selecting An After-School Program

A plethora of dynamic after-school opportunities exist for the next generation of students. To help your child choose the best extracurricular activity, ask him or her the following questions:

1) Who do you want to see when the school day ends?

Students’ number one reason for participating in an extracurricular activity is simply to “Have Fun.” Their friendships with teammates, band mates and cast members will be the catalyst for their laughs, smiles and even tears of joy at league championships, curtain calls and demo days. Distinct from previous generations, students today have multiple groups of friends, so ask your children who they want to spend time with outside of school (Sorry, Mom and Dad!).*

* If you really want to “Poke the Box,” ask your children if they are interested making new friends and enroll them in a program without friends from class, the neighborhood or Sunday school.

2) What type of activity do you want?

Do your best to find out what specific athletics, arts or science program your child really wants.  Tackle Football or Flag-Football League? Screenwriting or Improv Classes? Web Design or HTML 5 Camp? Generation Z expects options at school, on their IPhone and in their NetFlix Queue – extracurricular activities should be no different.

3) Why do you want to enroll?

Learn what your child’s primary motivation is for participating in the extracurricular activity and his or her after-school experience will be more enjoyable, meaningful and effective. If your child wants to simply exercise and socialize, a group program may be more appropriate.  If your child wants to be the best, a private coach will help him or her master a sport, art or hobby.

4) When do you want to participate?

Just ask: weekdays, weekends, or once a month? Increased homework assignments, the selectivity of high schools and colleges and even demands for teenagers to earn income during the recession impose unparalleled pressure for Generation Z. Ask them what they would like their schedule to be for the upcoming few months, and remember: THEY ARE KIDS! A season off can bring students newfound energy, inspiration and focus.

By engaging students in the after-school selection process, parents empower their children with the ability to make decisions for themselves. If Generation Z can be more of a self-directed generation than Generation X or Generation Y, the students of today will have unlimited potential as pioneers in sports, entertainment and innovation. Any questions?

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