In the 2017-2018 Loudoun County Public Schools academic year to date, INMED Partnerships for Children has delivered after-school programming to 30 at-risk elementary school children in Sterling whose families would otherwise be unable to access or afford quality after-school activities. Their academically-focused and outcome-based after-school program provides individualized assessments of academic skills, weekly one-on-one tutoring, daily homework assistance, computer lab tutorials, other educational activities including STEM/STEAM learning opportunities, special events, and nutritious snacks, which are particularly important since many children enrolled come from food-insecure households. Bus transportation is provided for children at three local schools.
Beyond these core offerings, INMED’s program also works to create even greater impact. Because the participating children face numerous stresses and challenges such as financial hardship, unstable homes, language barriers and one-parent households, death of a parent, etc., they are also actively working to strengthen the children’s developmental assets such as self-esteem, self-efficacy, mindfulness and persistence, which can have far-reaching positive effects beyond their performance in school.
INMED also includes a parent-school connections component, hosting monthly meetings to inform parents of their children’s progress in the program and to encourage their ongoing involvement in their children’s education. A total of 23 mothers and fathers have attended these meetings in the academic year to date. After-school program staff are also available for one-on-one meetings with parents when needed.
To date, the Paxton Memorial Trust has provided “scholarships” to seven students in the greatest need to ensure that they are able to participate in the program consistently without a financial burden to their families.
In addition to the core academic focus of the after-school program, students have also enjoyed a number of other special activities, such as a soccer skills workshop with a volunteer coach, piano lessons and freestyle playing of musical instruments, arts & crafts, and the opportunity to be a “paleontologist for a day” with a massive Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton model. In addition, the Sterling Library brings e-books and educational activities to the center every month.
One particular highlight was a visit by Dr. Vint Cerf, a Google vice president who is widely known as the “father of the Internet,” who spent an afternoon at the Opportunity Center in February, joining the children in a STEAM-related activity creating personalized bracelets through a binary coding exercise.
GREAT WORK, INMED! The Paxton Trust is proud to make your wonderful program available to more children!