Here is a a collection of stories told by some of our students.
Why Carver interventions matter: Low graduation rates translate into economic losses for society, and lifelong economic loss for young people driven by low earning potential. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, a 90 percent college-ready graduate rate (Carver's goal for all Norwalk youth) translates into new jobs, $7.8 billion in home sales, $159 million in state and local tax revenue, and $2.5 billion in consumer spending. Communities do not want their youth to be left behind in a rapidly developing and increasingly global economy. Since 2005, 100% of Carver seniors have graduated high school on time and an average of 95% go on it college each year; 85% of Carver students graduate from a 4-year college or university within 6 years.
Carver's after school Youth Development Program (YDP) provides students (a minimum 2.5 hours per day, not including field trips, college tours, career fairs, etc.) with a variety of learning opportunities that compliment and enrich, but do not duplicate, school day instruction. Carver provides free transportation.
YDP operates in Side By Side Charter School, the Carver Community Center, and in Norwalk Public Schools four middle and two high schools. YDP compliments regular school day learning with academic, Literacy, Math, Technology, Engineering, Science, enrichment, recreation and wellness programming in an after-school format through structured activities that prove year after year to achieve significant results. YDP’s multi-tiered, project-based, hands-on personalized learning uses an array of resources to help each student: Math - Intensified Algebra; GoMath and myPath(K-8); TimezAttack (third-person 3D math adventure game); Think Central (K-6); Khan Academy; and MyPath (math skills). Reading –MyOn, Teach to One. Project based programs include: robotics; Pre-Engineering; Try Science, Technovation; Jr. Marine Biology; Food DNA. Enrichment activities include jewelry making, crocheting, gardening, cooking, cartooning, ceramics, Chess, and nature photography.
YDP ensures the differentiation of instruction for all learners, including English language learners (ELLs). Corporate teams and individual professional volunteers support programs such as robotics and pre-engineering. Each day is balanced with academic, enrichment, and health and wellness programming consistent with Connecticut’s Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework for Comprehensive School Health Education and Comprehensive Physical Education. Carver students strengthen their social-emotional learning, from self-awareness to social awareness.
Each after-school YDP day begins with homework/tutoring for the first hour and up to one-and-a-half hours for students who require additional help. Intervention strategies require regular small group and one-to-one support and instruction. Although the minimum staff to student ratio is 1:10, this is the time of day that draws the greatest number of Carver volunteers.
YDP utilizes the Scientific Research-Based Interventions (SRBI) three-tier learning framework. This includes students with Individualized Education Plans, EL students and those at risk of academic failure. Tier I represents the general education core curriculums, instruction (including differentiation of instruction), and social‐emotional learning and behavioral supports. Tier II involves short‐term interventions for students experiencing difficulties who have not responded adequately to the Tier I core curriculums and differentiation of instruction. Tier III involves more intensive or individualized short‐term interventions for students who fail to respond to Tier II interventions. There is fluidity of movement across Tiers as needed.