BUSD afterschool programs for K

I am trying to learn about affordable, full time afterschool programs for students at Malcom X and Washington.  I'd like to hear from parents whose kids attend LEARNS at either school or the PTA run programs that are full time OR parents whose kids are at any BUSD school and attend the City of Berkeley programs at Willard, James Kenney/Live Oak, or Frances Albrier.  Do your kids like it?  What are the pros/cons?  Is the program well organized, good at communicating, etc?


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We like Washington's Learns program a lot. It improved significantly this year with new leadership--the whole staff seems more organized and enthusiastic, the enrichment options are better, and there's been clearer communication about how the program is run. It doesn't have some of the bells and whistles that other places have, including the full array of PTA-sponsored, largely pay-as-you-go enrichment options that some other Learns programs offer. But the built-in enrichment provided within the Learns program is solid, including sports, art, games, engineering, and drama. There are also some on campus enrichment options you can add, such as Spanish and chess, which aren't part of Learns but can be coordinated so your kid does both. My kid also seems to get more physical activity on the yard with Learns (endless soccer, basketball, and kickball, among other things) than he did at most summer camps, plus there's a homework hour, which is reading time for the younger kids. No program is perfect, but our kid is often reluctant to leave at pickup.

I have my kid in Trackers aftercare. They pick up from Washington on Mondays and Wednesdays. It is wonderful! http://www.trackersbay.com/

I have him in a couple of days of LEARNS at Washington, too. Sadly, the LEARNS program at Washington is a real weak spot. He loves school, but the aftercare he has very mixed reports about. Sometimes he loves it, but by his own 8 year old description "nobody get's picked on in school because the teachers won't let you get picked on. But the teachers in aftercare will let kids pick on you."