Summer Learning Project: Harbor Middle School & Dorchester House

Essential Question: “Who Am I?”

Energy, enthusiasm, and enterprise fill the Dotwell teen center every afternoon as students gather markers, art materials, and new sneakers to answer their Summer Learning site’s essential question: “Who am I?” “Walkin’ the Tightrope” is a visual arts activity – part of the overall Harbor-Dotwell partnership – in which students explore the connections between sneaker design and self- expression. The end products of the activity are personalized sneakers and an autobiographical essay.





This is just one aspect of the Harbor-Dotwell Summer Learning partnership, entering its 2nd summer. In answering the “Who am I?” question, students explore how academics, business, leadership, and health make them assets to the community. Through classes at the Harbor and activities at Dotwell, students explore their role in the community, in the classroom, in their future careers, and in their personal and professional lives.

Students read short stories about personal identity in ELA class, to prepare them for their sneaker design and autobiographical essays. Students learn about finances – including the stock market – and utilize the context of creating a cookbook to help master BPS math standards in math class. Activities tie into these academic explorations.  At Dotwell, in addition to “Walkin’ the Tightrope,” students participate in cooking classes, gym, financial health courses, and life skill sessions. Students also perform community service.

Through all of these activities between the Harbor School and Dotwell locations, students are aiming to answer “Who Am I?” – while developing the academic and personal skills for success.


Facts About the Harbor-Dotwell Partnership

  • 18 students entering Grade 7
  • 24 students entering Grade 8
  • 6 BPS staff/teachers working in partnership with Dotwell staff
  • Offering 162.5 hours of programming this summer