Commissioner Chester Joins IBA Students at Blackstone School for Community-Based Learning

This week, students at Summer Learning Project site Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) hosted some special visitors. Commissioner Mitchell Chester, joined by Cliff Chuang and Rachelle Engler Bennett from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, stopped by IBA’s summer program at the Blackstone Innovation School to see community-based learning in action.

IBA’s program is driven by a commitment to holistic, arts-influenced education. The program targets English Language Learner students, including recent immigrants to the country. The visitors observed the second- and third-graders at the site participating in hands-on math activities, an ongoing project to design their own business, and fun enrichment. Through this intentional blend of diverse programming, IBA aims to improve students’ academic skills, support social-emotional development, encourage creativity, and prevent summer learning loss.

On-site programming is supplemented by field trips that enable students to explore their surrounding neighborhood. With the essential question, “What is community?” in mind, IBA students have trekked through the South End to explore new areas of their community and meet the people who make it special. For more information about how IBA expands the classroom to the community, please check out their program profile here.

Many thanks to the following individuals for hosting us for this great visit: Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Cara Parchesco, Lauren Bard, and