Francis Center operates year-round to give children in our neighborhood a safe place to learn and grow. During the school year, we provide the after school program, plus babysitting and Girl Talk classes that serve a special purpose.

After School Program

Learning, laughter and life skills…taught by people who truly care.

Francis Center is the hubbub of activity as children from the surrounding community arrive each day after school. Here, they’re provided with invaluable help with their school work that they might not otherwise receive.

Each year, our after school program accepts about 30 children in Grades 2 and 3, recommended to us by their educators. Among the criteria for selection are their educational standing, social needs, and ability to commit to our program. Those who qualify are offered entry at no cost to their family.

With busy parents, hectic lives, or perhaps households where quiet learning isn’t possible, the students we accept appreciate our relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, and the intense learning experience we provide. Our qualified teachers take the time needed to help these young minds develop their reading, language and mathematics skills. As they do so, they encourage appropriate social behavior and an attitude of kindness toward others.

In addition to academics, the children are also engaged in activities for creative expression: painting, clay work and other artistic pursuits that enable them to feel the sheer joy of imagination and productivity.

Throughout their time at Francis Center, our young students are treated with respect, concern and acceptance as we help guide them toward an appreciation for learning, the confidence for creative expression and the desire to be kind to others.

Girl Talk

We teach girls how to be young ladies.

The transition from child to young woman can be fraught with trepidation.  At Francis Center, we understand the dramatic – and sometimes traumatic – metamorphosis that girls in our community undergo. Each year we offer a course designed for pre-pubescent girls so they’ll be better equipped with knowledge as they enter adolescence.

This session offers helpful information about health and hygiene and relating positively to others in a comfortable setting where girls can ask questions and hear the concerns of others their age. 

There is no charge for pre-teens to attend Girl Talk, thanks to donations we receive from throughout our community.

Red Cross Babysitting Program

We teach the skill of caring for others.

We are very fortunate to participate with the American Red Cross to offer young people in our community the Red Cross Babysitting Course. This highly acclaimed training for older children teaches them to be responsible for others, and perhaps earn money for the first time in their life. During the six-hour class they’ll learn such basics as how to:

  • Respond to emergencies with first aid, rescue breathing and more
  • Feed, diaper and care for infants
  • Make good decisions under pressure
  • Manage young children
  • Communicate effectively with parents
  • Recognize safety and hygiene issues
  • Start a babysitting business 

The course is typically offered once each school year, and is free of charge to participants, thanks to grants we receive.  Each student who successfully completes the course receives a certificate of completion.