The Shafter Learning Center: A Parent Perspective / by Amerika Nino-Rodriguez

As a parent, the after-school opportunities for kids today can be overwhelming. Do we stay in town or drive 20 minutes to the larger neighboring city with seemingly larger opportunities? Do we pay for expensive lessons or go with more economical options? And then, most importantly, what kind of environment should our kids learn in? Do we value success and trophies or skills and character?

In our family, we have tried to simplify the process of choosing with three key questions:

1.   Is it local? We love Shafter and want to support local options whenever possible.

2.   Is it affordable? We want to save money, but also value being in programs that are open to families across the financial spectrum.

3.   Does it encourage a growth mindset? We want our kids, and the kids in our community, to learn that growth is possible and that it’s ok to take risks, even if you fail. Mistakes happen when you try hard things.

Thankfully, there is a local option that meets each of these criteria! The Shafter Learning Center (SLC) is one of the best after-school opportunities around. The fact that our Shafter kids have a local option, within walking distance for many, to learn and grow after school is thrilling. The course offerings are interesting, the atmosphere is inviting, and the place is fun to be in. Courses are only $5! This space is quickly becoming one of our greatest city assets.

The fact that the Shafter Learning Center is both local and affordable is reason enough to support it, but what sets it apart is the emphasis on growth. The Shafter Learning Center encourages kids to take risks--even if they fail! As kids take classes they are encouraged to try new things and as they do, their mistakes are viewed through the lens of growth, not failure. This growth mindset culture is what most attracts our family to the Learning Center. Our kids are being taught how to challenge themselves and are celebrated in the process. The potential of each child who walks through their doors is valued.

The Shafter Learning Center is reframing the after-school activity conundrum.

Engaged kids, happy parents, educated community. Win-win-win.


Katie Wiebe

Shafter Parent & Resident

Learning Center Instructor