How does an after school program benefit my student?

According to the After School Alliance, regular participation in afterschool programs helps narrow the achievement gap between high and low-income students in math, improves academic and behavioral outcomes, and reduces school absences.

Students who regularly participate in after school programs improve their school attendance, class participation and behavior, homework completion, and reading and math achievement scores and grades.

On school days, the hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and sex.

Teenagers who do not participate in afterschool programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes than teenagers who do participate. They are also three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and they are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and engage in sexual activity. 

How will DFAS benefit the rest of my family?

DFAS recognizes that families are diverse - some are single parent families, foster families, blended families, or families led by grandparents, or other family members. Providing quality care for for your child in a safe, encouraging environment helps alleviate stress for parents while providing routine and stability for your children. Research shows that enrolling your child in after school care means fewer unscheduled absences and greater work productivity for parents. We also hope to move beyond after school care to provide quarterly family dinners, family oriented sporting events, as well as financial management (Financial Peace University, Financial Peace University Jr.), parenting (The Five Love Languages of Children, etc.), or other classes and events for local families. 

What does an average day at Dothan First After School look like?

DFAS will be open and closed in conjunction with the Dothan City School (DCS) calendar. You can view the DCS 2019-2020 School Calendar here

Hours of Operation 2:45pm-6:00pm Monday - Friday (following opening/closing dates of DCS calendar)

2:45pm - 4:00pm Students arrive and check in electronically at the door

3:00pm - 4:00pm Snack and Homework Check In. Students may use quiet rooms for homework with help and tutoring available from adult volunteers. Students may also read, or work in the computer lab. 

4:00pm - 4:30pm Interactive group student discipleship on Mondays and buddy group checkin on Thursdays; otherwise students continue homework until finished. 

4:30pm – 6:00pm Once homework has been completed, students may move to a different daily activity on the green space (weather permitting) such as flag football, soccer, obstacle courses, team building games, basketball, etc. or an indoors life skills class. Our computer lab is available for educational games once homework is completed. 

Our life skills classes will vary to include art, music, crafts, baking, cooking, science experiments, public speaking, etc.  

In the event of rain or extreme temperatures, outdoor activities will move into the main space when possible. Otherwise, movies or indoor games will be played in the main room during those times. 

**The above schedule may vary throughout the school year due to special events or activities. 

What curriculum do you use when teaching discipleship classes at DFAS?

We use a non-denominational children's curriculum from www.thinkorange.com.

252 Kids is based on one of three basic, but powerful, truths modeled by Jesus in Luke 2:52.

  • I need to make the wise choice.

  • I can trust God no matter what.

  • I should treat others the way I want to be treated.

This curriculum is designed to provoke discovery and invite kids into a new understanding of how to grow in relationship with Jesus.252 Kids is dedicated to helping children grow in wisdom, faith and friendship. Every lesson and resource we offer helps kids discover who Jesus is, and then shows them how to put their faith into practical action on a Tuesday morning when they’ve overslept or on a Friday afternoon when the teacher is playing favorites.

When is DFAS open for after school care? All day summer care?

DFAS opens and closes following the Dothan City School calendar. If Dothan City Schools are closed due to inclement weather, a holiday, or school break other than summer, DFAS is closed. On school days, DFAS is open 2:45pm - 6:00pm CST. If schools close early due to a SCHEDULED, non-emergent, early dismissal then DFAS will open early to allow students to come straight from early dismissal at no additional charge. If your child has not had lunch prior to a scheduled, early dismissal, you will need to send him or her a sack lunch. 

We function as an after school program rather than a daycare; therefore, we cannot be open during inclement weather or school holidays at this time. Our goal is to help working parents cover the largest chunks of time that cause stress - summer break and daily afternoon care during the school year. We understand that closure for inclement weather, holidays, or school breaks can be inconvenient for parents,  but our aim is to help our neighbors cover the largest spans of time possible while also keeping the cost as low as possible. 

We offer an 8 week summer camp beginning in June after school dismisses for the summer. We remain open Monday-Friday for 8 weeks during the summer. If the 4th of July falls on a weekend, DFAS will be closed on the previous Friday or following Monday. During summer break, our day camp will be open 7:45am - 6:00pm CST.

Can my child enroll for summer camp if he or she does not participate in the program during the school year? If so, when does summer camp enrollment open?

Yes, children who do not participate during the school year can enroll for summer camp. However, those students who are already participating with DFAS during the school year will receive priority placement for all summer activities. Space for summer camp will be limited, and enrollment will open March 1st each year. 

What paperwork is required to enroll for summer camp? Can I print it online?

Summer enrollment requires a copy of your child's most recent, blue immunization form. You an obtain a copy from his or her pediatrician's office. We also need a completed summer camp registration form accompanied by your $15 registration fee (per child). If your child is not enrolled with us during the school year, we also require the signature page from our DFAS Parent Handbook. If your child has an allergy requiring an EPI pen or a chronic medical condition that requires staff intervention or prescription medication, additional medical forms must be completed by your child's treating physician. 

Because students enrolled with DFAS during the school year receive priority placement and our enrollment space is limited, summer forms are only available in our DFAS office. Please don't hesitate to contact us via phone call or email to inquire about our available enrollment space. 

What makes DFAS a better option than the average tutoring or after school program?

DFAS was born out of a desire to help children and families in our community to thrive. We have purposely designed our program to provide high-quality care at the lowest possible cost. Because we are not seeking to make a profit, you'll find that our program is approximately 60% cheaper than traditional programs.

DFAS is a program designed to care for the whole-person. We want to support your child's academic success while also encouraging growth into the person God created them to be. Our goal is to enable your child to love God and love people in all kinds of creative ways. At DFAS we want your children to grow into teenagers and adults with big, brave hearts that lead them toward servant leadership and compassionate community involvement. 

Finally, because DFAS is about building long-term relationships with each other and the local community, children enrolled in our after school program will receive priority placement for our 8 week summer camp.

What are the costs associated with your program? Are there any other additional expenses during the school year?

The DFAS Rate Sheet located at the back of the Parent Handbook and under our After School Program tab provide you with details about the cost of our program. There is an annual registration fee of $15 for after school care and again for summer care. The $20 per week fee per child for after school care helps cover our operating costs, such as school supplies, snacks, craft and project supplies, etc. We offer a multiple child discount of 25% for each additional child after the first one. There are no additional fees associated with our after school program. However, a late pick up fee is charged should you fail to pick your child up by 6:05pm. 

What are my payment options for my child's care?

If your child is enrolling prior to the start of school, a $15 registration fee is due at the time of registration as well as the 1st month's fee ($70 if you have 1 child). ALL fees must be paid prior to the start of school. Program fees are divided into 10 equal monthly payments (August - May) due on or before the 1st of the month for the next month's care. We accept checks, cash, or any major credit card. You may make payments in person or by hitting the “Review and Pay” button on your emailed invoice. Please remember that you will be charged a $25 fee if your personal check is returned for insufficient funds. If your check is returned, the $25 fee as well as the amount of the check are due to DFAS within 5 days and future payments may be required in cash. Please see our rate sheet for a detailed explanation of program fees, multiple child discounts, and our late payment fee schedule. 

What can my child access from your computer lab?

Our computer lab is surveilled by our camera system. We utilize software that blocks social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram as well as YouTube and other searches or sites that may provide your student with inappropriate viewing material. The wifi password is not provided for student's personal use on smart phones or other electronic devices.

How will my student be transported to Dothan First After School?

Each student must submit a completed with his or her Registration Form. We are partnering with the Dothan City Schools transportation department to run the school bus from Heard Elementary to DFAS in the afternoons because that is the elementary school for which our building is zoned. Students coming from Heard Elementary will board a DCS bus, which will drop students off with us every afternoon.  Elementary school students will be met at the bus stop in front of DFAS and walked directly into the building. 

If your student is coming from Highlands Elementary or Selma Street Elementary, our DFAS bus will pick those students up and transport them directly to our building. Each school is provided a bus list indicating which students we are transporting.

If your student is homeschooled, or coming from a school other than Highlands Elementary, Heard Elementary, or Selma Street Elementary, he or she may be dropped off by you or by your designee. If you live in a nearby home or apartment complex (Barstone, Biltmore Place, Sweetwater, Fox Run, Camelot), your child may bike or walk to DFAS with your explicit written permission. See our DFAS Transportation Plan.

Can you accommodate my child if he or she has special needs?

If your child has special needs that require accommodation, we ask that you discuss those with us before enrollment so that we may determine if we can provide the support your child needs. Our ability to accommodate will be impacted by the scope of your child's need. We want DFAS to be an encouraging and supportive environment for every student and will do all we can to help your child thrive. 

My child is homeschooled. Can homeschool children attend DFAS?

Yes! Students who are homeschooled are welcome at DFAS. We want learners of all backgrounds to feel comfortable joining us. The registration fee and monthly fee amounts are the same regardless of your child's method of eduction (public, private, homeschool. etc.).

How do I enroll my child at DFAS?

All the forms needed for enrollment with Dothan First After School (DFAS) may be downloaded by clicking on the links under our After School Program / Application Forms tab. If you have difficulty accessing or completing these forms, please contact us via email or phone for assistance. Registration packets are available for pick up at our office. When you have completed the necessary forms, you may mail or bring them to DFAS at: 1081 Honeysuckle Rd., Dothan, AL 36305. Our offices are located at the rear of the building and are open Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm. Completed forms may also be emailed to Mandy Knight at dfasdirector@dothannaz.com.

School year enrollment requires that each child's file contain a completed Registration Form, Media Release Form, Transportation Plan, and the Parent Handbook signature page. If your child has a serious allergy or other chronic health condition, the additional forms noted below are also needed to ensure his or her safety. 

Summer camp enrollment requires that each child's file contain a completed Summer Camp Registration Form, Media Release, Medical Report Form, Parent Handbook signature page, and up to date Immunization Form (blue form). Summer camp forms become available as of March 1st. If your child has a serious allergy or chronic health condition, the additional forms noted below are also needed to ensure his or her safety. 

If your child has a food or bee allergy that requires an EPI pen, we require 3 additional forms to be completed: 

Medication Consent Form (requires a health care practitioner signature)
Anaphylaxis Plan (requires a health care practitioner to fill out and sign)
Individual Health Care Plan (requires a parent/guardian to fill out and sign)

If your child has a chronic health condition such as asthma, diabetes, seizures, etc., we require 2 additional forms to be completed: 

Medication Consent Form (requires a health care practitioner signature)
Individual Health Care Plan (requires a parent/guardian to fill out and sign) 

Are you qualified to provide after school care for children?

DFAS is led by Mrs. Mandy Knight. Mrs. Knight earned a B.S. in Interpersonal Communication and a minor in Compassionate Ministry from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2005. While completing her undergraduate degree at Trevecca, Mandy worked tutoring foster children and as a program tutor for West End Middle School. Mrs. Knight also holds an M.A. in Communication and Leadership from Park University. Mandy has been the Children's Director at Dothan First Church of the Nazarene since December 2015. Her husband, Rev. Kevin Knight, is the Senior Pastor of Dothan First Church of the Nazarene. Prior to moving to Dothan in July 2014, the Knights pastored Jasper Church of the Nazarene in Jasper, TN for 5 years. During that time, Mandy was the Youth Director and high school Sunday school teacher.

In addition, Mrs. Knight and every other volunteer, has completed abuse awareness and prevention training. She is also CPR certified. All staff and volunteers are also subject to a background check and abuse awareness and prevention training prior to working with DFAS. 

How will you ensure my child’s safety?

As noted above, all volunteers are required to undergo abuse awareness and prevention training and are subject to background checks. In case of injury, first aid kids are readily available. No medication is administered without a signed consent form provided by a student's parent or guardian. In the event of dangerous weather, our Emergency Preparedness Plans are laid out in the Parent Handbook. 

All areas utilized by DFAS are monitored by security cameras to ensure that both students and volunteers are safe. All rooms have windows that remain uncovered. We require two volunteers be with students at all times and that no individual student be alone at any time. 

DFAS also requires that appropriate volunteer-to-student ratios be maintained at all times. These ratios can vary based on the age of the children enrolled in the program. Regardless of student age, DFAS operates with a ratio of 1:12. Lower ratios make it possible for each child to receive one-on-one attention and care during their time at DFAS. 

Do you welcome volunteers from outside DFC?

Yes! We absolutely welcome volunteers from other organizations or denominations that support our mission of loving God and loving people. We recognize the love of Jesus takes many forms and we believe in sharing it in creative ways. Any volunteer must complete a Volunteer Application, submit to a thorough background check, and complete DFAS training and abuse prevention and awareness training.  

How did Dothan First After School get its name?

Our church's name is Dothan First Church of the Nazarene so its clear that part of our name stems from that of our church. However, Dothan First After School was chosen with dual intention. We wanted our community, Dothan, to know that we are intentionally putting you and your family first. We want to support your family connections and help your children grow into the lives God has for them, but that doesn't happen by accident. DFAS recognizes putting you and your children first in small ways, every day, can lead to greater freedom, grace, and growth in the lives of our neighbors. 

What is the Church of the Nazarene?

This is a question we get a lot and it has a wonderful answer! The Church of the Nazarene is smaller than many other denominations and is most similar to the Methodist denomination. We separated from the Methodists in the early 1900's when our founders felt an urgent call to minister to the poor and marginalized in their communities. The first Nazarene church was planted in downtown Los Angeles because our founding fathers wanted to purposely love those many considered a lost cause. One of the founders of the Church of the Nazarene was a man named Phineas F. Bresee and people challenged him to change the denominational name many times, but Phineas wouldn't do it. He had a great reason: Jesus was born in Nazareth - In the ancient world, no one thought anything good could come out of Nazareth. It was tiny, backward, and poor. The savior of humanity comes out of the poorest, darkest place in ancient Israel. There is no better news for people who find themselves on the outside or who are left to the margins. We are proud to be the Church of the Nazarene because our very name recognizes that we are a church of perfectly imperfect people on a faith journey together. We belive God's love never runs out - not on you and not on us. We are people of hope; and we always have room for one more. 

To learn more about the Nazarene denomination please visit www.nazarene.org. If you'd like to know more about this local church, please visit www.dothannaz.com