After-School Program at GPA
2:30 PM-6:00 PM
Every weekday until 6 pm, nearly 150 students attend GPA’s After-School Program.
During this extended learning time, students have more time to practice academic skills and try a range of extra-curricular activities. After-School is an essential component of the Gardner Pilot Academy’s full-service community school model.
This GPA has developed a quality extended learning program over the past twenty years. Students at all grade levels can enroll in After-School, and school-day paraprofessionals serve as the lead teachers during After-School. When students arrive, they attend a community meeting with their After-School classmates and teacher. Over the course of the afternoon, students work on homework, do activities building on lessons during the school day, and take a social studies class, with breaks for snack and additional playtime. Based on their grade level, students also participate in their choice of clubs. Recent examples of club offerings include music lessons, science, Playworks’ Junior Coaching, and gender-based affinity groups. Students who participate in After-School experience 1,710 hours of additional learning time each year.
A range of partnerships makes After-School at GPA possible. The YMCA of Greater Boston is the most substantial After-School partner. The YMCA helps GPA get state licensure, and supports staff salaries and professional learning costs. Local organizations, like Boston College, the Big Sisters Association, and Strong Women Strong Girls run clubs and other specific programs during After-School. To support the program, families pay a weekly fee on a sliding scale. GPA also provides scholarships to families in need.
Afterschool provides an important bridge for children between the school day and home. The Y program gives children a rich variety of activities that connect and build upon school day academics on balance with instruction that inspires self -esteem, leadership and healthy living. Parents are given the peace of mind that their children are safe and actively engaged; while children enjoy a fun afternoon where learning continues side by side with socialization and active play. Y Afterschool educators take their cue district school teachers, assuring an alignment between school-day academics and the homework help, tutoring and enrichment activities that the Y provides. By working together on a curriculum focused on Literacy, Math, and STEM, the Afterschool curricula are standardized to include activities that increase reading and math proficiency and incorporate science, technology and engineering competencies. The afternoon is rounded out by the Y’s signature IPlay Program that combines 30 minutes of physical activities daily with nutrition education, and motivational instruction that encourages leadership, community awareness, tolerance and confidence building. Relationship building is key to a child’s social-emotional development, so the Y emphasizes respectful and positive staff to the child, staff to staff, child to child and staff to parent interactions.
Our talented Site Directors have a minimum qualification requirement of either a Bachelor’s Degree or documentation of enrollment in a degree program. Group Leaders are qualified by the Department of Early Education and Care standards. Staff training is continuous, timely and comprehensive on topics that include Academic Instruction, Bullying Prevention, Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Safety and Protection; Family Engagement and strategies to promote children’s social and emotional growth.
Criminal and Sexual (CORI/SORI) background checks are run annually on all educators and all are required to have certificates in First Aid and CPR.
Do we need to sign up in advance?
Yes, we are using the YMCA enrollment packs and must be completed in its entirety.
Students with incomplete packets and missing medical forms cannot start without it.
How much does it cost?
There will be full scholarships available for students meeting specific criteria. In order to identify your eligibility please speak with Mariela or Nicolasa. Program will have a cost based on income for all other students. Please provide 2020 tax return or proof of income or one month of pay stubs. This year, we received ESSER federal funding and we are working to prioritize free/discounted after school for students in need.
How to pay for weekly payment?
Payments are done every Friday, though you can always pay in advance. The front desk person will be taking payments after school dismissal. Payments can be made in cash, money order, or via check. You will receive a paper receipt in return. Please note that cash must be exact as we do not have change. Checks and money orders can be made out to GPA/YMCA after school.
For more info about Gardner Pilot Academy Afterschool program, please contact the following information:
Mariela DeLeon, Site Director
YMCA of Greater Boston
Department of Child Development
30 Athol Street, Allston, MA 02134