SMARTS News! A New Blended After-School Mentoring and Strategy Instruction Program

We are the proud recipients of a Cumming’s Foundation 100 for 100 Grant, allowing us to pilot a blended mentoring and executive function strategy instruction program in Woburn, MA. Working with the James L. McKeown Boys & Girls Club After the Bell program, we will create a supportive and empowering program where students will help each other to learn and apply executive function strategies to the challenges they face in school and beyond.

Students with learning difficulties often struggle academically and view themselves as incompetent, ashamed, alone, and hopeless—leading to high risk for dropping out of school and delinquency.

Mentoring can have a dramatic impact on academically at-risk youth, yet structured peer-mentoring programs are rarely targeted towards these students.

Teaching learning strategies in a peer-mentoring setting represents a unique approach that would provide valuable enrichment to many youth development programs and schools in our community. Thanks to the Cummings Foundation, we can address this need!

The SMARTS Mentoring and Strategy Instruction Program will transform students’ lives by motivating them to engage in the learning process, take control of their lives, and become self-confident learners with the potential to be successful leaders. Younger students are paired with older students who have struggled with their own learning difficulties and can point the way to academic and life success.

The goal of our collaboration with the James L. McKeown Boys & Girls Club and the After the Bell program at Joyce Middle School is to develop a program that can be used by groups who provide support to students during out-of-school time. This will create a SMARTS community that will enable struggling students to experience empowering mentoring relationships and will provide them with peer-tutoring and leadership opportunities that will help them to develop persistence and resilience and to achieve academic and life success.

Stay tuned for exciting updates!

  • Michael Greschler, M.Ed., SMARTS Program Director