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Resources Manual

Kids just wanna have fun in the kitchen and garden: How to start an after-school program

Looking to start or improve your programing for kids and students?

This after-school programs manual is a comprehensive resource on how to start an after-school program. Drawing on the range of after-school programs at Community Food Centres across Canada, the manual speaks to our educational approach and features stories, programming ideas, kid-friendly evaluation tools, and sample lessons.

The goal of the manual is to provide simple and easy to use examples on how to create engaging, respectful, and fun programming for young people. We hope that this manual will inspire program staff and managers who are currently running programs with young people and those who are just starting out. There isn't just one way to create successful programming for young people, but this manual contains our educational approach and will hopefully help you with these vital programs.


  • Introduction: About the after-school program
  • Valuing kids’ experience: Our educational approach
  • Child’s play: ASP programming
  • A sense of place: Making kid-friendly spaces
  • It’s all about the team: Volunteers, interns, and staff
  • Filling the seats: Tips for effective outreach
  • Tallying up impact: Evaluation
  • Acknowledgements

Additional resources:

Lesson plan & recipes: Knife Skills
Lesson plan: Decoding nutrition labels
Lesson plan & activities: Vermicomposting
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