This post is sponsored by The Motherhood for Tomorrow, powered by Remake Learning. As always, all opinions are my own.
We’ve had a very hard last year and a half worldwide. Our kids are not okay and that’s such a scary thing. After being in lockdown, our kids In the recent blog post by Tomorrow, powered by Remake Learning, called “Can in-school and after-school learning become a truly connected ecosystem?” focuses on the kids of Duquesne City School District in Pittsburgh. After Covid-lockdowns, the school district new that their students needed a summer outside. But they knew that their students would need transportation to get to it, since their parents had to work. Sure, they could have started their own summer school or summer camp program onsite, but they made an interesting choice.
Rather than re-inventing the wheel, the Duquesne City School District partnered with the Boys & Girls Club. The Boys & Girls Club already had a building but they didn’t have a way to get the student there. Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania said that “We have very highly qualified staff that offer literacy, STEM, arts, social-emotional support, mentoring, sports and recreation. And we can’t get kids to the building.” So the Duquesne City School District paid for transportation so that students could attend summer camp this year at the Boys & Girls Club and get all those amazing programs on site at the Boys & Girls Club.
This is called stepping out “of the silo and tapping into the learning ecosystem. It’s an approach that remains fairly uncommon. But what if school districts and out-of-school-time (OST) providers continued developing and growing these kinds of partnerships in the months and years to come?”
OST providers can seem like a second family to children, and I know from personal experience that especially one of the providers that we have, they have brought so much value to our life. We have a provider that comes into my home 4 days a week to help with my youngest child. She had made such a huge difference — she started coming into us during the darkest days of the pandemic and is still with us today. She working in conjunction with his teacher when we had to be remote and really helped my son with schoolwork and behavior. He is a different child and we love seeing the progress he’s made, both emotionally, socially and educationally.
Also in Pittsburgh, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit also realized the important role that OST organizations play. They hosted an event last spring where these providers could pitch services to local school districts. “The summer camp transportation collaboration between the Boys & Girls Clubs and Duquesne City Schools grew out of that event and the small grant funding the AIU (Allegheny Intermediate Unit)was offering.”
OST programs can help children socially, emotionally and educationally. This echoes the “findings from two statewide panels on post-pandemic learning convened by Remake Learning. The experts on those panels offered recommendations that included this mandate: “Make impactful connections among districts, teachers, out-of-school educators, and families.”
“Remake Learning will be working in the months to come with Timothy D. Jones, an educator and youth development specialist whose work is centered at the intersections of hip-hop pedagogy, youth development, and artistic empowerment. Jones will lead a series of workshops and critical conversations this fall with school and OST partners who collaborated over the summer. And mini-grants of $2,500 will be available to those partners to deepen their relationship this fall.”
But can these connections be formalized?
Yes — this article by Tomorrow, powered by Remake Learning states, “What if each school district had a Director of Relationships leading a team that focused on this work? Slowly, fruitful collaborations between K-12 schools and OST providers are growing. With creative approaches and a commitment to forging truly connected learning for all kids, the new school year can bring even more progress.”
Abel-Palmeri says, “The onus is honestly on all of us, to continue to break down silos and come together.”
Anything that helps our children is a good thing.
Original Article linked below, by Melissa Ravencroft, used with permission. Photos were also used with permission.
For nearly 15 years, Remake Learning has been partnering with educators nationwide, igniting engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change. The recent revelations and growing conversations regarding education and learning has been part of Remake Learning’s core values and mission since its inception in 2005. Powered by Remake Learning, the Tomorrow campaign continues the mission of what we can do today for a more promising tomorrow. Learn more at remakelearning.org.