Life In the Zone

Posted by Mary John Minter P '30
What's your family's solution to after-school care? As the number of working parents increases, so does the need for safe and attractive after-school programs.

Our Eagles' Zone provides quality care for Caldwell Grammar students every regular school day. Mary John Minter P '30 explains how this program has enhanced her family's experience.
When we enrolled our daughter in Caldwell Academy, we were thrilled at the prospect of our child learning in a Christ-centered, loving environment. We respected and were excited about the classical curriculum. We knew the faculty was top-notch and expected our precious child to grow and mature in the classroom. What we did not realize at the time was in addition to Caldwell’s excellent education, the way it fosters community and character development is amazing. Our daughter has grown both from her time in the classroom and from her time after school in Eagles’ Zone.

Eagles’ Zone programming has been a great blessing to our family. With both parents working full-time, after-school care has filled the afternoon gap for us with the opportunity for our child to play, explore, and have fun while developing friendships and expanding her community in the Grammar School. Along with providing a safe, engaging environment for afternoon play, Eagles’ Zone also facilitates and oversees the completion of homework. One of our daughter’s favorite things is working alongside student helpers from the Rhetoric School. What a huge help that is! And she loves it!

We firmly believe the opportunity to interact with children of all ages is socially and intellectually stimulating. It boosts confidence and creativity and offers the chance to create lasting memories and friendships. We love to see the joy it brings our daughter to “mother” younger children that go to Eagles’ Zone. She often comes home and recounts story after story of what they did all afternoon, games they invented, special snacks they had, etc. Furthermore, she has made many of her closest friends (outside of her grade level) through her afternoons spent in Eagle Zone. As her social group grows, by default, so does ours!

As a rising fifth-grade student, our daughter is approaching her last year in Eagles’ Zone and I enjoy looking back at all the good times and fun-filled afternoons she’s had. There have been many days she has asked to stay just a few minutes longer, not wanting to leave. One day  I took off early from work to surprise her with a mommy/daughter afternoon. Little did I know that the Eagles’ Zone students were being treated to doughnuts that day, so she begged to stay! It warmed my heart to see her so happy and content to stay at school.

It can be challenging to have both parents working full time, but we truly feel like Eagles’ Zone has enriched our lives with more than just childcare. Our daughter is not spending the afternoon biding her time until she comes home. She is engaged and active, and happy to be with her peers. More often than not, my husband handles pick-up each afternoon. On many nights when I get home he tells me how he played a game of basketball with the kids or spent time chatting with another parent while the kids played one last game. The community we have developed through these interactions is part of what makes Caldwell a special place.

Editor’s Note
: We are glad to make the Eagles’ Zone available to even more Caldwell families in the 2022-2023 school year. A new, on-campus modular facility will be assembled over the summer to provide additional classroom space for Grammar School students and more room for the Eagles’ Zone. To learn more about the Eagles’ Zone and how your family can participate, please visit