- On March 16, 2015
- In Education
IBA’s Afterschool and Summer Learning Program: Inspiring Children while Improving Literacy
Jenna Gabriel, a former teacher at IBA’s Afterschool and Summer Program and now Program Director of the Youth Program, spoke about the purpose and the importance of the program. She explained that children come from all over the Boston area to continue and further their education in a setting that’s inviting and engaging. [embed]https://youtu.be/Kzu8QsfeNVY[/embed] Gabriel said that after children are in school for seven hours it is highly important to encourage them to want to keep on learning, thus they not only have to teach them, teachers at the afterschool program have to inspire them. At IBA’s afterschool program learning is fun, “when I think about what will help a child to succeed in school setting and to help them advocate for themselves in their community wanting to learn is a really big part of that,” she said. IBA’s teachers at the Blackstone Innovation School use reading, writing, and performances to help students gain the language and literacy skills they need to succeed in school. This is critical in their education, as literacy levels are one of the key indicators of how successful a child will be when moving through the school system and up to higher education. The majority of students are learning English as their second language, and it isn’t the primary spoken language at home; so their time at Blackstone is extremely valuable. To keep children focused IBA’s program has a very high staff to student ratio, “so kids are getting individualized attention, they are getting the chance to feel pride in their accomplishments,” Gabriel said. She explained that one of the projects they worked on last summer was writing a book about their community that is now at the Boston Public Library. Both afterschool and summer programs have a very strong parent engagement model that is culturally competent. They host events where students can showcase their successes and get the parents involved in their education. Both programs give children valuable tools in English and literacy, the summer one also strives to deter learning loss during vacation months while in the afterschool setting children are also provided with homework support on top of everything else. These programs are crucial in a child’s development and they have to be different than going to school. The teachers at IBA’s Afterschool and Summer Program are dedicated and passionate about making your children’s extra time spent learning engaging and worth their while. ...