Participants receive group literacy programming that utilizes evidence-based programs and/or strategies that promote and improve oral reading fluency in early grades (K-3), reading comprehension in later grades (4-5), and vocabulary-building across all levels. Group Literacy may be integrated into various activities that incorporate active reading and comprehension strategies (e.g., project-based learning, STEM, arts, cooking) for enhancing youth education.
Participants receive structured physical fitness programming to keep children moving throughout the entire activity while promoting fitness, fun, teamwork, and cooperative play. Programs offer a variety of activities that encourage participation for all skill levels and abilities, and that meet children’s needs and interests. Participants are actively moving for at least 2.5 hours weekly during the school year. Physical activities and fitness can focus on but are not limited to jump rope, parachute play, jogging games, fitness circuits, aerobics, and team sports.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) activities must include structured design programming grounded in positive youth development best practices. The program focuses on positive skill-building (strengths-based versus deficit-based) through challenging activities, leadership development, decision-making opportunities, and opportunities for youth to have hands-on practice applying skills to real-world scenarios. Programs ensure a nurturing, socially positive environment, inclusive
of staff equipped to actively and intentionally foster this environment by coaching children and appropriately modeling concepts and skills.
Family engagement activities extend meaningful interactions between programs and families. By creating a welcoming environment, understanding families’ needs, and implementing effective strategies to engage families, youth development programs can help bridge the gap between school and home by assisting families as they navigate the educational system, providing parents with information and tools to support their child’s academic and personal success, helping families learn how to best support the learning and development of their child, and understanding families’ needs and refer them to resources and services as appropriate.
DIFFERENTIATED LITERARY INSTRUCTION
Differentiated Learning Instruction (DLI) is delivered individually or in small groups by a Certified Teacher for all identified struggling readers (i.e., frustration range on the appropriate literacy tool pretest), to improve reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary, in addition to group literacy activities.
Nutrition Education activities must reinforce healthy eating habits through nutrition education and other healthy eating activities, such as cooking classes, gardening projects, and cultural exploration of foods. Nutrition education resources are available to programs through The Children's Trust's designated food service provider at no cost.