Youth Education and Engagement
Oakridge Neighborhood provides a much needed source of support for our youth by providing a continuum of K-12 afterschool and out-of-school programming that focuses on the academic, social, emotional and enrichment needs of our students.
Individual data is collected for each student through their home school to include quarterly grade reports, attendance and behavior reports, and other information necessary in tracking and monitoring student performance and progress toward outcomes. Program data reveals that participation in Oakridge afterschool and out-of-school programs for grades K-12 is in fact positively influencing academic performance in a variety of ways. Better grades, better attitudes toward school, higher school attendance rates, lower tardiness rates, deeper engagement in learning and higher graduation rates have all been recorded. Indeed, Oakridge youth programs, offering both strong academic components coupled with youth development activities, lead to important gains in academic outcomes.
Project OASIS (K-5th Grade)
Project OASIS – Oakridge Achievers Successful in School – is the educationally based after school program for students grades K-5 which focuses on increased math and reading proficiency, increased school attendance, decreased suspensions (in and out-of-school) and system involvement. This is accomplished through literacy/reading and math classes, individualized homework assistance, and school visits, plus one-to-one and group tutoring sessions. Students are provided instruction by certified teachers, as well as enrichment activities and other social and emotional supports by academic intervention specialists.
Oakridge also connects grade schoolers’ STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education with STEAM, adding arts curriculum and experiences. Students are given the opportunity to participate in a variety of fine arts programming through hands-on activities, workshops, field trips and artists-in-residence.
BE REAL Academy and SWAGG (6th – 8th Grade)
The BE REAL Academy – Building and Enhancing Relationships – Enriching Academics and Learning – is designed for middle school students ages 13-16. BE REAL engages students through participation in a book club called Chapters – A Book Club for Young Achievers, which promotes and encourages literacy. BE REAL also focuses on equipping and preparing middle school students and their parents for the transitions that will be experienced during their middle school years. BE REAL is intended to create opportunities for parent and student engagement and training focused specially on the notion of transition – both academic and life transitions, that are experienced by middle school students.
SWAGG – Students With A Graduation Goal – is also designed for middle school students, providing the mentoring and support to envision and set the course for successfully graduating from high school. Junior SWAGG for 5th grade students offers a gateway into the junior high program.
Youth Summer Employment Program (YSEP) (ages 14-21)
The Youth Summer Employment Program (YSEP) offers subsidized summer employment opportunities for low-income high school youth. YSEP provides nine weeks of paid part-time (20-30 hours) work experience at non-profit and public agencies throughout the community. The program supports the positive development of youth by engaging them in meaningful employment, job skills workshops and career exploration while providing leadership and community involvement opportunities.
YSEP creates a supportive learning environment where students develop an understanding of the direct link between academic achievement and future career aspirations, the basic skills needed to find and keep a job, and the value of giving back to their community through service learning projects.
Youth Summer Sports Academy (3rd – 12th Grade)
In collaboration with key corporate sponsors, this program is a chance for our kids to participate in highly competitive basketball, soccer and flag football programs, plus receive intense academic enrichment instruction. In order to be eligible for the sports component, youth must remain in good standing in academic classes and outreach workshops. Qualified and certified coaches lead student athletes in sport-specific training sessions and competitions, which culminate in season-ending championships.
Oakridge Neighborhood: A 21st Century Learning Center (K-12th Grade)
Oakridge Neighborhood was awarded a 21st Century Community Center grant (21st CCLC) in 2014 and again in 2020. The 21st CCLC grant has enabled Oakridge to expand its after school and out-of-school programming to offer extended learning opportunities for students grades K-12.
21st CCLC programming includes the use of evidenced-based academic support, educational enrichment, parent engagement, and family literacy activities, and focuses on improving academic outcomes and performance in the core areas of reading, math and science.
All Oakridge 21st CCLC programming is aligned with classroom instruction using evidenced-based academic supports and interventions with licensed teachers retained to provide the academic components of the program. The program partners with Edmunds Elementary School, Callanan Middle School and Roosevelt High School, the neighborhood elementary and regional middle and high schools serving the students that reside in and around Oakridge Neighborhood, as well as Holy Family School, which also serves a number of Oakridge students.
With 21st CCLC funds, Oakridge Neighborhood has increased the rigor of after school/out-of-school academic supports, the frequency of student contacts, provided an expanded portfolio of educational enrichment activities, and has increased the emphasis on parental engagement and family literacy. This rigorous programming is facilitated through a six day/week “high touch” model aided at meeting the academic and educational enrichment needs of high poverty and ELL participants.