After-School Program Details

Now Celebrating 11 Years!


Children Recognizing & Building Inner Strength & Reaching Their Potential

Kids unleash their P.E.T. Power and reach toward their full potential in this fun,
hands-on program that teaches them how to create their own P.E.T.s (Positive Empowering Thoughts)
that chase away A.N.T.s (Automatic Non-supportive Thoughts)!


  • Several HCPSS Locations – Enroll Your Child at ANY Location

  • After-School Classes – GRADES 2 – 4

  • Evening Class – GRADES 2 – 5

  • 6 Classes, 90 Minutes Each (9 class hours total)

  • $115 + $25 Materials Fee

  • Different Topics Each Fall, Winter, & Spring Session

  • New & continuing Kid Empowerment students welcome

  • Kids bring a nut-free snack to enjoy while supervised between school dismissal and when class begins

  • No class on half days or when school is not in session

  • WINTER 2018 SESSION BEGINS FEBRUARY 5TH – Locations, Registration Links & Topics Here

 What Sets Our Program Apart:

  • P.E.T. Club Kid Empowerment teaches children that they have the ability to think about their thoughts and that they have the power to create PETs – Positive Empowering Thoughts – for themselves that build confidence and self-esteem.
  • Everyone has ANTs from time to time – Automatic Non-supportive Thoughts. Children tend to believe that their ANTs are true because they typically don’t know to question them.
  • Through self-awareness (noticing when they are being bothered by an ANT) and conscious choice-making (using PET Strategies), kids can propel themselves toward success in all they do!
  • The program creatively modifies sophisticated, abstract concepts into kid-friendly, easily relatable lessons by using cartoon characters that are tangible and entertaining.
  • Children are motivated to want to learn and use the tools and strategies because they can see how it is in their best interest to do so.

What your child can expect at P.E.T. Club Kid Empowerment:

  • Each child chooses and personalizes his/her own stuffed animal “pet” to bring home at the end of the session.
  • Everyone gets his/her own P.E.T. Club coursebook to keep for review, reference, and reinforcement.
  • Children learn how to create their own PETs (Positive Empowering Thoughts).
  • Children learn how to recognize ANTs (Automatic Non-supportive Thoughts).
  • Fun, experiential games & activities that motivate and reinforce how to recognize ANTs and how/when to use one of the powerful PET strategies that chase ANTs away; 3 -4 ANTs and PET Strategies per session.
  • Kid Empowerment through engaging icebreaker games and activities.
  • Wholesome & motivating animations, led by Andy the ANTeater, followed by interactive reinforcement discussions & activities.
  • Rotating activities about every 10 minutes to keep kids engaged & moving.
  • Parent Pages with details and suggestions on how to best support your child for each topic.
  • Final class showcase – Family and friends are invited to our fun and informative showcase, which allows the children to “practice by teaching” what they’ve learned. Parents/guardians are encouraged (but not required) to join us for the showcase.
  • BONUS INCLUDED WITH REGISTRATION: Online animations & more to enjoy with your child at home.

Life gets easier & more fun when kids feel comfortable with themselves, even in uncomfortable situations… a true success mentality.

That’s Kid Empowerment!


Find a WINTER 2018 After-School Class Near You

See More Program Details at “What is Smashing ANTs”

Testimonials from Parents, Kids, & Professionals


Nancy with student in Andy orange rectangle

Program Facilitators

  Smashing ANTs facilitators are trained and certified in each course module by program author/creator, Nancy Sheain.
•  Program follows the PBIS system of reinforcement, consistent with HCPSS.
•  Facilitators are trained in PBIS, as well as a kind, but firm – No Shame, No Blame, No Fear – approach to discipline.

Classroom Behavior Expectations

  Smashing ANTs is not designed to address behavior challenges.
Students are expected to understand and to be willing & able to follow appropriate classroom behaviors; please note that Amazing Futures Foundation reserves the right to dismiss any student who is unwilling or unable to do so, without refund.
•  A reward system is used to help motivate children to “self-regulate” their behavior. This system follows the PBIS model consistent with HCPSS.
It has been such a pleasure... with dropshadow

Andy - with yellow green tie facing left



Hi there! Andy here. I’m a professional ANTeater. I am the guide through all the lessons on PETs, ANTs, and Kid Empowerment.


How can I explain the program to my child?
I’m afraid my child might protest!
My child is not negative… How will this program benefit?


Cancellations, Refunds, & Inclement Weather Policy


  • Cancellations are at the discretion of Amazing Futures Foundation and/or the HoCo R&P Department.
  • If either Amazing Futures Foundation or the HoCo R&P Department makes the decision to cancel an after-school session for which your child is registered, you have the option of joining the class at a different location or being issued a full refund.


  • Howard County Recreation & Parks-Sponsored Locations: Please check the R&P website for their refund policy.
  • Howard County PTA-Sponsored Locations: A full refund (less the $25 registration fee) is available up to one week prior to the session start date. No refunds will be issued after one week prior to the session start date.
  • Please note: Amazing Futures Foundation reserves the right to dismiss any student who is either unwilling or unable to follow appropriate classroom behaviors, without refund, regardless of camp location (see Classroom Behavior section above).

Inclement Weather Policy

  • Smashing ANTs After-School Program follows the Inclement Weather Policy of each county’s school system.
  • If school is delayed only, we WILL hold class.
  • If school is canceled for the day, we WILL NOT hold class.
  • If school is dismissed early for any reason, we WILL NOT hold class.
  • If school-related or county after-school activities are canceled at any point, we WILL NOT hold class.
  • There are no refunds given for classes missed due to inclement weather, however we ensure our best efforts to make up those classes (see below).

Make-Up Days

  • Our policy is to make every effort to make-up missed classes due to inclement weather.
  • Make-up days are subject to the availability of the school facility and are not always possible.
  • If possible, make-up classes will be held on the same day of the week and be added to the end of the session. When this is not possible, we may add additional time to each of the remaining classes.
  • Decisions regarding make-up days are at the discretion of Amazing Futures Foundation and/or the HoCo Recreation & Parks Department and will be communicated to parents/guardians as soon as information is available.

We all  have ANTs from time to time… 

What’s important is knowing what to do with them!

Ants in green thought bubble -pointing right

SA logo with ant leaningtses tfar


Learn more about Smashing ANTs

Find an After-School Class Near You