This summer, drawing on decades of experience delivering joyful summer learning, Aim High launched its first distance learning program, Aim High at Home (AH@H). This summer’s program emphasized social-emotional wellness at a time when our students desperately needed community and connection. Aim High’s engaging and culturally relevant project-based curriculum was adapted for distance learning.
Join us for a walk through of AH@H!
Each morning, students enjoyed video messages from Aim High educators with jokes, personal anecdotes, words of encouragement and wisdom relating to each of the week’s themes: Community, Connections Wellness, People who Matter and Looking Ahead.
“No matter what the world around you tells you or shows you with their actions remember: YOU MATTER.” Moses Omolade, Aim High educator.
Issues and Choices, Aim High’s adolescent development course, provided a safe space for students to discuss what matters to them: identity, peer pressure, racism and college and career opportunities. Relationships, self-care and community building between peers and educators is a core component of this class, especially this year. As Daryll, one of our rising 8th graders said,“I learned new activities that I did not know before. I also learned about gardening, making a vision board and the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
In Book Club, students read short stories and excerpts from novels to improve literacy and help make sense of the world around them. Their final projects showcased an understanding of theme and plot and included opportunities to demonstrate the connections students made between the text and their own lives. We loved rising 6th grader Daisy’s final project connecting the theme of abuse of power in The Three Little Pigs with today’s Black Lives Matter movement.
Interactive STEAM challenges encouraged students to think outside the box and recognize that STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) is everywhere.
Activities included cooking, gardening, school redesigns in the context of Covid-19 and the creation of laws of motion machines! Take a look at a Rube Goldberg machine that rising 8th grader, Breanna, created.
Each afternoon, students chose from a variety of activities and physical challenges—from core exercises and yoga classes to snack making, wildcards and creating ‘zines—to learn skills, practice wellness and step outside of their comfort zones.
Aim High’s community partners really added an extra layer of fun this summer! Students made their own podcasts and funky beats with Women’s Audio Mission, practiced the fundamentals of soccer with the Vikings, wrestling with Beat the Streets and basketball with Ball for Life, wrote plays and learned improv from American Conservatory Theater (ACT), discovered comedic timing juggling skills with Circus Center and honed web design skills with Street Code.
Because Aim High’s curriculum took place entirely at home this summer, our team created activities that could be done with the whole family. Activities ranged from creating crafts, dance battles, cooking and photo scavenger hunts.
In addition to these interactive activities, families participated in on-demand workshops on topics that included self-care, mindfulness and applying to high school.
Aim High will continue to support students and families this fall via direct service and connections to strategic partners.
Amidst so much chaos and uncertainty, we are delighted that over 1,000 Northern California young people found connection, community and joy as they prepared for the school year ahead. Thank you for being part of our first distance learning program. We hope you enjoyed the journey!