“The Explore after school enrichment classes offer something to the kids that they don't get in their usual school day and they also give the kids an opportunity to connect with kids in other grades in a meaningful way.” -parent

“It’s a wonderful, affordable opportunity for the kids to try out new classes and it's a more intimate way to spend time with teachers and develop relationships with adults within their school community.” -parent

About Kids Explore After School

'Explore' is a Santa Cruz City School’s district-wide program that offers a wide range of affordable, quality after school enrichment classes at all 5 elementary schools. All classes are taught on school grounds by skilled instructors and coaches. Any interested SCCS elementary child can take an Explore after school class, including those in ASES or CKC, regardless of ability to pay. Last year, we served over 600 students and offered scholarships to 24% of participants.


What kinds of programs we provide

Classes, between 10-15 students each, are typically 1 hour long for 8 weeks offered in the fall and spring and include topics of: STEM, language, sports, music, and the arts. Scholarships are available to families in need.

Explore impacts lives

When kids take an after school class, they can follow their passions and explore new activities. This benefits our children, families, schools, and community by providing kids with unique learning experiences; and, we support busy parents -- no need to pick up and drive to an activity. Research shows that afterschool programs are effective when “factors of access, sustained participation, program quality, and strong partnerships” are addressed (Harvard Family Research Project). With more equitable access for all interested kids to participate, each child can have the opportunity to try something new, perhaps providing a spark that can lead to higher student achievement, engagement, and school-connectedness, thereby changing a student’s life.


What do parents and administrators think

“They are something my kids look forward to every week. And the fact that they are already at school makes it SO MUCH easier for parents! My schedule does not allow me to pick up my kids after school and transport them elsewhere for a class.” -parent

“Loving these classes and looking forward to seeing what will be offered next year!” -parent

“Thank you for providing affordable classes that are fun and engaging!!” -parent

“Thank you so much for offering Spanish. I think it makes Westlake a much better school.” -parent

"Explore after school has made a positive impact at Bay View Elementary. Students are learning and having fun at the same time. It’s a great program at our school.” -school community coordinator

How you can help

We are always seeking new partnerships to help keep our program accessible for all Santa Cruz City elementary students.  Explore is a donation-based program funded by parents, the Santa Cruz Education Foundation, school PTCs, local businesses, and individual donors/grants.

We would like to thank all of our partners and supporters, including the Coastal Watershed, Code Naturally in conjunction with Looker, Skatedogs, Challenge Island, All About Theatre, Santa Cruz Gladiators, Skate of the Arts, and Drawn2Art.

This year, we are also excited to announce the George Ow Jr. Family Challenge Grant, which will greatly help the Explore program serve more students with financial need, build the program, and keep costs affordable for all families.

Your donation to the Explore Program will help give ALL Santa Cruz City School kids access to engaging and affordable after school enrichment classes. Please click here to donate.