Boston Awards Nearly 2,600 Badges in 2016


Digital badging is gaining traction across Greater Boston. Since the initiative’s inception in 2015, interest in using badges to recognize skill development outside of the classroom has risen dramatically. This year, the initiative expanded to 11 programs serving 937 students from grades 4-12, marking an 83% increase in programs and a 99% increase in students involved compared to last year.  As this work enters its next phase, Boston After School & Beyond and its partners met to discuss these developments along with programs' experiences … [Read more...]

36 Boston Middle Schools Implement Hands-On Learning During Boston STEM Week


Last week, 36 middle schools across Boston took part in Boston STEM Week, suspending normal curriculum and transforming into hands-on learning labs offering 20-25 hours of project-based learning. Hosted by i2 Learning, this immersive STEM experience allowed students to work like real scientists and engineers, asking questions, leading investigations, building models, and developing solutions to real problems. “I was skeptical at first,” said Patricia Lampron, principal at the Henderson K-12 Inclusion School, “but this really lit a fire in … [Read more...]

Program Profile: Sociedad Latina Offers Youth Led STEAM Experiences that Build Creativity and Cultural Pride


Integrating academic support and hands-on art and design learning experiences, the Sociedad Latina STEAM Team provides Latino middle school students with opportunities to develop math and science skills while engaging in self-expression and celebrating their shared cultural heritage. STEAM Team offers youth a space to collaborate, solve problems, and take ownership of projects, creating experiences that support critical thinking and promote strong relationships and student leadership. “Our mission is to build the next generation of Latino … [Read more...]

Washington Post: New Evidence that Summer Programs Can Make a Difference for Poor Children


By Emma Brown | September 7 at 7:00 AM During their long, languid summers, lots of children forget the lessons they learned in school. But the hot empty months pose an especially big academic hurdle for poor children, whose families might not have time or money for camps or enrichment activities. Now new research suggests that school districts can stave off the so-called summer slide by offering free, voluntary programs that mix reading and math instruction with sailing, arts and crafts and other summer staples. The research also shows, … [Read more...]

Program Profile: DotHouse Generation Next Academy Teen Center Promotes Holistic Health through Supportive Relationships and Hands on Learning


Offering a variety of enriching experiences in a safe and supportive environment, the DotHouse Generation Next Academy Teen Center addresses a broad vision of youth health through its summer and school year programs for young adults. The Teen Center provides students with a place to learn, play sports, socialize, and seek the advice of peer leaders while offering access to important services like WIC and a food pantry. Nestled in the back of the DotHouse Health Center, the DotHouse Teen Center’s mission is to supplement the Health Center’s … [Read more...]

Program Profile: America SCORES Blends Hands on Science, Soccer and Poetry to Create Whole Student Athletes


Integrating athletics, creative writing, arts, community service and STEM experiences, America SCORES provides students with opportunities to express themselves, collaborate with others, and engage in a healthy active lifestyle. Through this BoSTEM program, students work to build confidence and leadership skills while strengthening their abilities in math and writing and developing a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle. “Our overall goal is to create a student athlete, student being first. We want students to be active throughout their lives, to … [Read more...]

Youth Today: Longer Summer Programs, Consistent Participation Needed for Learning Gap, New Report Advises


By Allen Fennewald, with Sarah Barr | September 8, 2016 Students who regularly attended summer learning programs experienced lasting increases in mathematics and language arts abilities, as well as an increase in social and emotional competency, according to the report “Learning From Summer — Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth,” released Wednesday by The Wallace Foundation. ..... In all five cities, school districts partnered with community-based organizations, including jointly designing and managing … [Read more...]

City Press Release: Boston Summer Programs Boost Math, Reading, Social-Emotional Skills, National Study Shows

City of Boston

RAND, Wallace Study Affirms Goal Set by Mayor Walsh, Superintendent Chang BOSTON - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - Elementary students with high levels of attendance in Boston's voluntary summer learning programs earned a clear advantage in math and reading over their peers, according to new RAND findings from the largest research study ever conducted on summer learning. The national study released today also points to an advantage in vital social-emotional skills, like self-regulation and relationships, for those who are high attenders of … [Read more...]

Data Findings Point to Highly Effective School Year Partnerships in 2015-16


On August 30, Boston Beyond's school year partners gathered for the semi-annual AQP and BoSTEM Summit to explore cohort-wide program quality trends for the 2015-16 school year, debrief about last year's data collection process, hear an update from Boston Public Schools, and discuss the plan for the year ahead. At the Summit, Jon Sproul and Miriam Rubin from BPS's Office of School-Community Partnerships provided an overview of the district's new five-year Strategic Implementation Plan, which includes a deliberate focus on increasing … [Read more...]

Chris Smith Represents Boston Summer Learning Community at National Academies Workshop

NASEM SL Workshop 2

On Thursday, August 25, Boston After School & Beyond's Executive Director Chris Smith joined national experts and thought leaders for a public workshop in Washington, D.C. hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. During his opening remarks and an afternoon panel session on creating skill pathways, Smith shared the successes of the Boston Summer Learning Community with national audiences. The workshop highlighted the latest research on summer programming and explored the links, both existing and potential, … [Read more...]