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Funding For Cambridge Community Center's OST Program

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Arts , Education
United States
Cycle Year
Cambridge Community Center
Annie-Eliza Stevens
5 Callender Street
Used for
This funding will be used for our Out-of-School (OST) time programming, which is where the largest percentage of our operating budget goes. Our after school program consists of our K-5 program, CCC Enriches, our middle school program, CCC Inspires, and our teen volunteer program, CCC Empowers. It will fund the afterschool lead teachers' salaries, hot meals for every child's dinner before they go home at the end of each week day, and all of the supplies and materials needed for programming.
Strong local communities are the foundation of our country. We believe that by giving children opportunities to create a future for themselves regardless of socioeconomic barriers while also grounding them in their local history builds compassionate, cultivated, and intellectual minds of future generations. Our goal is to serve the needs of every person, from childhood to senior citizen, and through our diverse program offerings and events, we are able to foster multigenerational connections and interactions that that enrich not only the lives of the youth while they are here, but support them as citizens beyond their time in the OST program.
Proposal Description
For 87 years, the Cambridge Community Center has responded to the changing needs of children and families in our community. Many of the staff and children in our programs come from families that have been involved with the Center for four or even five generations, enriching our Center with a strong sense of history, family, and community. Today, our OST Programs, provided under a license from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), include our after school program and Cowemoki Summer Enrichment Program. Our maximum licensed capacity is currently 91 children. Through government contracts, we also have the opportunity to serve 5 children under the care of the Department of Children and Family services (DCF) and 5 children who are experiencing homelessness. We offer underserved children diverse opportunities, programs, and services to close the opportunity gap and address disparities due to ethnicity and socioeconomic status. We support children from kindergarten to college, and have teen alumni who return to CCC to become mentors, coach sports, and provide tech support. While most Cambridge youth programs end at middle school, leaving a gap in youth programming, our robust teen programs extend from collaborations with the Cambridge Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program to our year-round Empowers teen volunteer program. We are also dedicated to family and community engagement. Our group leaders make weekly phone calls to parents, communicate with teachers, and help plan monthly family nights. We are committed to enrolling not only children, but families. Our after school program consists of our K-5 program, CCC Enriches, our middle school program, CCC Inspires, and our teen volunteer program, CCC Empowers. Arrival takes place between around 2:00pm and 3:15pm. From 3:15pm to 4:30pm, our program includes time for socializing, a nutritious snack, classroom activities, and homework help. Every day between 4:30pm and 5:30pm, children can choose from over fifteen special programs taught by staff members, board members, volunteers, Lesley University graduate-level interns, and outside professionals. These include computer science workshops, visual art classes, cooking, a sports league with other community centers, gardening and sustainability, and one-on-one literacy tutoring with MIT students. Cowemoki Summer Enrichment Program runs from 7:30am until 4:30pm, with an extended day option ending at 5:30pm. Every day, children are provided with breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. During the summer, Group Leaders facilitate classroom activities, weekly computer lab activities, and visits to neighborhood parks and swimming pools. We employ a Gym Teacher and an Art Teacher who lead weekly classes for each group. All staff also participate in Hobby Time, a weekly two hour workshop that reflects their own interests. This year, our Hobby Time workshops included cooking, gardening, clothing design, and jump roping. We offer two weekly K-8 soccer classes, taught by professional coaches from the GOALS soccer training program, along with a basketball league that meets twice a week in collaboration with Coaching Corps. Every Friday at Cowemoki is Field Trip Friday, with destinations including the New England Aquarium, Farrington Nature Linc, and the Boston Harbor Islands. Our four OST Program objectives are: Provide high quality Out of School Time (OST) Programs at a price Cambridge families can manage; Accomplish a sustainable and healthy future for OST Program children and families; Partner with other organizations to diversify OST Program services; Use feedback from the community to improve OST Programs where there is the greatest need. Every year, children spend 1,080 hours in the public school system. If children attend our program year-long, they spend 1,410 hours at the Cambridge Community Center, positioning us to support families in meaningful ways.