The Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts (OAMA) team has been planning and developing this program with the anticipation of providing families in the community with a convenient way to maximize the potential of children. Our program will take a harmonious approach to develop the mind, body and spirit of each individual child.

We felt there was a need for this program as the number of latchkey children in Canada is a growing concern. A latchkey child is a child aged twelve or under that spends time at home unsupervised. These few hours after school before a parent arrives home from work are very important. Children left unsupervised can engage in undesirable or unproductive behaviours. Statistics Canada estimates that 900,000 Canadian children aged six to thirteen require some form of after school care.

Our program offers FREE transportation directly from certain schools in the community to the Academy. Upon arrival, the children will have the opportunity to sociaize while they have their snacks and prepare for a martial arts class. After the class, children will be assisted by our qualified staff with their school homework. For days when a child does not have any assigned homework to complete, they will be provided with alternative mind-stimulating activities such as reading, word searches or studying martial arts terminology, history and culture.

The after school martial arts classes will follow a progressive curriculum that include practical lesson plans for anti-bullying strategies and the prevalent dangers of Internet chat rooms and strangers. The curriculum is established to be easily applied to real life situations. Our focus is to instill confidence, self-esteem and leadership qualities. The classes will be divided by age category in two groups so that we can focus on the developmental needs of the children.

A recent study by Statistics Canada showed that high school dropouts were less likely to participate in non-school sports or non-school clubs. Having a social life provides the child with feelings of belonging and having friends for support. School engagement was another factor for high school dropout which is reflected in the number of hours spent on homework and the completion of school assignments to encourage feelings about the value of education. The After School Program will promote the value of education and the intrinsic rewards from a positive academic outlook. Children will be able to work in a cohesive team environment with the support and positive role modeling of both staff and peers. A recent Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) identified a causal relationship between social relationships and overall health. Increased levels of socialization have been linked to lower mortality rates, lower rates of crime and increased perception of positive health. One who is socially isolated is more likely to suffer from poor physical and mental health. Feeling connected to one’s community promotes health because such ties promote mutual respect and thereby increase self-esteem.

Children who are enrolled in the After School Program will be provided with the same quality programming during early dismissal days, professional development days, winter and spring breaks. In addition, the children enrolled in the After School Program will be guaranteed a spot secured for the already successful “Nights of the Ninja” and “Summer Adventure Camp”. You will lose the stress of searching for childcare or wondering what your child is doing when schools are closed. You can continue your work day with ease knowing that your child is in a positive and safe environment receiving quality physical activity and mental stimulation within a team. Evenings can now be a relaxing time to enjoy dinner and engage in precious family time.