THINK Together’s daily middle school program consists of academic and enrichment elements and a healthy living component that includes physical fitness, character education and nutrition education.
The program is open to 6th through 8th grade students from the time the school day ends to 6 pm (approximately 20-22 hours a week). Students receive a healthy snack before participating in a rotation of structured activities. We use strategies rooted in the core elementary school curricula but augmented with more choice and enrichment activities.
The resulting program has a “club” feeling that is engaging to young adolescents while still boosting academic achievement. THINK Together staff emphasize the three Rs of Afterschool: Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor by embedding them into club activities. Middle school students work more effectively in small groups if they can see the connection between the activity and the real world that they live in, and if the activities are challenging enough to reduce boredom and easy enough to develop a sense of self-efficacy.
A Breakthrough student’s academic journey begins in middle school, the summer between 6th and 7th grades, and lasts six years, until they graduate from high school and attend four-year colleges. Once enrolled in Breakthrough, we are with them every step of the way; from academic summer sessions to year-long math programs, from college essays to college tours, from high school counseling to college placement.
Students’ involvement continues after the summer in our year long after-school program which includes number talks, critical thinking word problems, Khan Academy practice, and “Student Success Skills” curriculum.
Students take classes two times per week during their 7th and 8th grade years.
TechGYRLS® is a highly successful nation-wide YWCA after-school empowerment program that provides girls ages 5-14 with opportunities to increase their skills and confidence in the use of technology and engineering. TechGYRLS® was developed by the YWCA USA in 1997 after seeing the need to strengthen girls’ interest and competency in computer literacy — a key job skill in nearly every profession today. The goal of TechGYRLS® is to provide technology education in an all-girl environment where girls feel comfortable taking risks and opening up to new learning opportunities.
Middle school girls engage in activities to stimulate a deeper interest in technology using critical thinking, time management, teamwork, problem solving, and presentation skills. Career development is another component as the program tries to reach girls at a young age. Part of this is achieved through presentations given by professional women volunteers. These guest speakers provide an important link between the topics covered in TechGYRLS and the potential job opportunities waiting for them once they finish school.