This is the most important part of the academic center and is the core of the activities of our after-school program. Partnering with the different schools that have our participating students, we assist students with their homework and ensure they turn it in. They get group homework assistance and individual homework tutoring for those students that need more attention and focus. Homework tutoring is a requirement for all K-8th grade and is optional for the high-school volunteers and participants.
This is done whenever students do not have homework or are done with their homework before the required one-hour academic time is over. Math is the most fundamental of all the subjects, as the hardest subjects usually involve some sort of mathematical skill (physics, trigonometry, chemistry, etc). Improvement in math skills also shows improvement in overall academic performance, as it develops their logical and analytical problem-solving skills. Statistically however, over 70% of the 8th graders that have gone in our program show little to no skills in basic math, such as memory of times tables, and are therefore truly unable to grasp algebraic concepts and other more complex math.
This is for students who are suspended from school. Partnering with Pistor Middle School, a joint agreement and consent between Higher Ground, the schools administration and teachers, and the students parent to send their kid to SOS program instead of suspending them. The SOS program is ran during the regular school hours of the suspended student. The student will be taught leadership skills, get involved in community building experiences and service, and academic tutoring.
This is based on a read and experience concept that we are working on. Through our partnership with the UofA and Sirows Dr. Rosi Andrade, our ROW program was awarded the Stocker Foundation Learning grant. This grant money is used to buy books to engage our elementary students and introduce them to a wide variety of material they will not normally be introduced to. The grant has also allowed us to take the students in a field trip once a month to places such as the Biosphere, Pima Air Space Museum, and other local places in accordance to the theme of the month. It is a known fact that for students to truly get the most benefits in reading, they need to be engaged and enjoying reading. Unfortunately reading has been seen as a chore in most classrooms and to most kids. Living in a media filled world where entertainment is constantly being taken to different levels, the appeal of reading has become less and less. In order to make kids more interested to reading we need to stimulate their different senses by taking them to trips and allowing them to see, feel, hear, and experience what they read. This program is mandatory to K 5th grade. Students will read about the marvels in Tucson to get them familiarized with Tucson and allow them to take pride in their city and community. The main focus of the ROW program is Civics, Culture, and Environmental awareness of Tucson.
The PARTY with Parents will work on maximizing the success of students by encouraging families to foster constant academic involvement, positive reinforcement, and model for growth to develop a closer relationship between parents and their kids. Through our years of experience, we have noticed that the more parent involvement and partnership exist, the more effective our program is in building students academic success and positive identity.
This is a group dedicated to the highly at-risk kids and those students whose parents are not willing to work with us as well. They will do home visits for the parents and come up with an action plan to eventually bring the student back to the regular after school program. This will consist of experts in special education, behavioral psychology, and passionate volunteers who are willing to go above and beyond the normal methods in the after school program.