Boys & Girls Harbor Inc. operates the After School and Summer Enrichment for Elementary School-Aged Youth program in three East Harlem locations in New York City. Over the course of a year, the program serves 300 students ages 6 to 12. Students in the program come from low or low-middle income households in underperforming schools. To give students opportunities that their community and schools cannot provide, the Harbor program offers small-group tutoring and homework help, swimming and lifetime sports, creative writing, visual arts, music, drama and dance, design, discussion groups, and field trips.
Activities fall into primarily the following domains: academic enrichment, art and culture, health and fitness, youth development, and an assortment of field trips to area attractions.
Students have the opportunity to build ownership of the program by voting for the student council. Older students help choose electives and help design each semester's schedule of activities. The students enroll in specific workshops on a semester basis.
Program staff also take an active role in the outcomes of the program. For instance, staff conduct evaluations to gauge how the program is doing with its outcomes in each area. Monthly meetings take place to discuss the latest research findings in child development, educational theories, and parenting skills. Information on student progress also is conducted through classroom observations, feedback to staff, review of report cards, and parent surveys.
The Harbor program also has strong community connections with organizations such as the Junior League of New York, Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, the Raices Latin Music Collection, and many others. The program's financial literacy component has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a model and is being replicated at a Pennsylvania charter school.
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