Programs The Cohort Model The Fishing School’s Cohort Model is a unique, continuous commitment to children and their parents from 1st through 8th grades in which students are grouped into “cohorts” upon enrollment and progress through a multi-year program continuum together. Our programs follow each child through critical benchmarks in their elementary school years, and continue to support through middle school to help ensure a successful transition into high school. TFS students, therefore, have a continuity of experience that may not otherwise be possible through other out-of-school time providers. At The Fishing School, we teach students to go fishing in the rivers of their minds. We’re able to effectively do this through research-based out-of-school time programming. Learn more about each of our program offerings below: Elementary Afterschool Program Research shows that 3 to 6pm are the peak hours in which youth commit crimes; become victims of crimes; and experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex. The risk of exposure to such activities is even higher for children from lower-income families. Research indicates that participation in high-quality OST programs can help to eliminate the achievement gap which has increased by 30% in the last 30 years. Our Elementary Afterschool Program for 1st to 5th graders operates from August through June, 3:15 to 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Designed to both bridge the academic achievement gap and build life skills, this Program keeps kids safe and learning in the out-of-school time hours. Learn more about our curriculum components. Middle School Program The Fishing School has served middle school grades students since 1990, but in recent years has focused on building and improving the Elementary Afterschool component of the model. Our strategic focus now emphasizes enriching and expanding our Middle School Program. The Common-Core-based curriculum focuses on career and college development and leadership skills. This program provides opportunities for students to further explore current event topics using online forums, career exploration trips, college tours, and service-oriented trips. Parent Engagement Program As the active engagement of a supportive parent or guardian is critical to creating a complete and positive learning environment for our students, parents/guardians are key partners in our process. Our Parent Engagement Program is based on industry research and best practices, and is highly influenced by Dr. Joyce Epstein’s Six Keys of Parent Involvement. The Fishing School model, however, has been adapted to successfully target the underserved communities we support. In The Fishing School’s Parent Engagement Program, parents participate in year-round activities and events designed to increase their knowledge and skills of youth development and to empower them at home. Summer Camp Recent research indicates that over 50% of the achievement gap between students from low-income communities and those from communities with more resources is explained by the difference in access to and quality of summer learning opportunities. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “Every summer, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading while their higher-income peers make slight gains. Most youth lose about two months of math skills in the summer.” The Fishing School works to avoid and address this achievement gap by offering intensive academic programming, life skills support, and parent engagement opportunities each summer embedded within the target communities themselves. Curriculum Components i-Ready: i-Ready is an exciting, effective technology-based tool we use to enhance academic interventions. Through individualized assessment, we are able to accurately track student academic growth and deliver customized lessons for each student in our program. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math): STEAM is a growing movement toward the future in education. It encompasses creativity, critical thinking, and technology to propel youth into promising careers, fulfilling the nation’s need for innovative and skilled leaders. This focus on STEAM ensures that underrepresented minorities and those in underserved communities are exposed to science, technology, engineering, art, and math at an early age. Read Alouds: Each unit, classes share a read-aloud book that is aligned with the current Life Skills theme, aimed at developing students’ early language skills, reinforcing reading and comprehension skills, and building a higher foundation for school success. Read Alouds ensure a fun, engaging, and interactive reading experience that boosts students’ abilities while fostering a love for learning. Life Skills: Our Life Skills lessons encompass the all-important soft skills students need to become successful in the world. Students explore themes that help to build basic school success and social/emotional skills, as recent studies have shown that possessing character traits such as grit, empathy, and perseverance can be significant determinants of future success. HBCUs: We expose youth to the college-going process starting in 1st grade. We use the Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Readiness component in order to encourage and inspire our students to think big. Students have an opportunity to participate in HBCU-themed “spirit weeks,” in which they choose an HBCU to research and represent for “Homecoming Week.” Clubs: Designed to boost self-confidence, foster creativity, promote physical activity, and teach team building, our clubs are an integral component of our programming. The Fishing School offers our students choices in order to empower them to take on a sense of responsibility for their own learning and to promote ownership. Clubs include DIY, Fitness, Theater & Tech, and Sports. Homework help: Students don’t just have fun, they get things done! That’s why we offer designated time in which students can receive ongoing support in order to complete homework. In fact, in a recent survey teachers reported that 67% of our students improved in homework completion.