What is Beyond the Bell?
Beyond the Bell is held at the Rev. Lloyd Wallace Center in Raceland, LA. The program was established by program director, Heather Benoit, M.Ed. in the fall of 2014. The program is currently held Monday-Thursday from 3:00-5:00 P.M. During out of school hours, the program is held from 10:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. Children must be enrolled in the program to attend and must live in the central Lafourche area. The ages that are welcomed for the program are five years-twelve years old (Kindergarten-6th grade). During Beyond the Bell, youth members work on school assignments and task and also engage in enrichment activities. The center is equipped with technological resources such as; kindles, computers, laptops, and access to a printer. Volunteers are welcomed to participate in the program. All volunteers must contact the director for more information before beginning.
Why was the program established?
I had a mission to provide the youth in the community with a safe and enriching environment when they are dismissed from school. I believe that learning should not end at the dismissal bell; it should be an ongoing process that can be continued at home. As an educator, I am a firm believer with providing students with what they need developmentally. In order to assure this, we are constantly engaging our youth members in developmentally appropriate activities that help shape and enrich their lives. Many children in our parish go home unattended and with no one to help assist with school studies and other activities. Providing the children with a safe and enriching environment allows them to continue their learning process and allows them to grow into responsible citizens. Our mission is to shape our youth members into successful young adults and to always be there for them in any time of need.
The program’s success is driven by our dedicated staff members and volunteers. Our staff members and volunteers need to be positive, energetic, and down to earth. They also need to absolutely love children. The love you have for children needs to be evident while you are working with our youth members at the center. The main reason I became an educator is because I wholeheartedly love and adore children. Our children have blossomed tremendously with our program. We have had youth members with behavior problems begin to act appropriately in school because they understood what they were learning in class due to our assistance afterschool. We have had youth members go from failing grades to high passing grades each semester. Our youth members truly enjoy attending the program and we are proud of the progress they make each year academically and socially.