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Today's adolescents must learn to be critical thinkers, creative problem solvers and clear communicators to compete in the global marketplace. Our youth must demonstrate not only honesty, integrity and a strong work ethic to future employers, but also teamwork, interpersonal skills and the ability to adapt to emerging technologies. Framingham's 21st Century Community Learning Centers help disadvantaged middle school students acquire skills today to build their capacity for success tomorrow. Research indicates that low income and minority youth struggle to keep pace with peers who have more resources to expand their intellectural horizons. Our 21st Century Programs help level the playing field.
21st Century Community Learning Centers afterschool and summer programs reinforce academic skills, increase aspirations and engage youth in activities that develop excitement and purpose for their education and a sense of belonging in the community. Highlights include: 1) Supervised homework support and access to resources after the school day to reinforce lessons. 2) Hands-on activities in a relaxed environment, familiar and convenient for students. 3) Clubs designed to boost confidence and curiosity, build intangible "soft" skills and help students explore their potential. Examples include Fun with Foods, Lego Robotics, CSI Framingham, Astronomy, Knitting and Rocketry. To support school district goals, the middle school clubs incorporate a mathematics component and the elementary school clubs a vocabularly enrichment component. 4) Low staff/student ratios (1:10) and small groups enable educators and community professionals to establish trust and strong working relationships with students. 5) Transportation is provided free of charge. Club enrichment programs have been developed in partnership with the Danforth Museum of Art, the Framingham Public Access TV, the MetroWest YMCA, Framingham State College, Pine Manor College and the Young Entrepreneurs Alliance.
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