At a time when many schools are being pushed to narrow their focus and concentrate on core academic subjects like reading and mathematics, afterschool programs are being pulled in a dozen different directions. Program directors wrestle with a range of questions as they try to meet the diverse needs of funders, parents, and the young people they serve. Should afterschool time be an extension of school, focused on tutoring and homework help? Or a break from school, focused on sports, fitness, arts, and hobbies?
Bernie Zubrowski has spent much of his professional life devising
ways to educate young people when they are out in the world, away from
the classroom. In more than 23 years with Boston’s Children’s Museum
and other museums in the United States, Great Britain, India, Sweden,
and Bahrain—and in several EDC projects—Zubrowski’s quest has led him
to design activities that illuminate scientific principles with very
Every other Monday night, in a temporary office located in the Waltham (Mass.) Hospital, a one-of-a-kind Board of Directors convenes. The issues before the board on this night are typical of many social service agencies: the cost of tuition for the workshops they offer; the success of recent outreach efforts; the development of parent councils in the local schools; the new accounting software. But the board itself isn’t at all typical.
For EDC Senior Vice President Vivian Guilfoy, who has spent more than a decade working in the fields of community technology and youth development, one of the signs of progress is a blurring of boundaries. “The days of distinction between formal and informal education have come to an end,” says Guilfoy, director of EDC’s Center for Education, Employment, and Community (CEEC).
Middle school students in ScienceQuest, an afterschool science program offered in six low-income Boston neighborhoods, celebrated their research projects and unveiled Web sites they created about them at a party hosted by Millennium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge July 26.