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Home > School Programs > Therapeutic Afterschool Programs > ASPIRE at the Frederick Pilot Middle School

Therapeutic Afterschool Programs

ASPIRE, AIP’s Therapeutic Afterschool Program at the Frederick Pilot Middle School  

Hours:  Monday – Thursday, 3:30-6:00 pm
Location:  On site at the Frederick School
Dates:  September to June
Fee:  Nominal fee, with a sliding scale
Contact:  ASPIRE Program Director

ASPIRE is a therapeutic afterschool program for 65 Frederick School students.  Led by a licensed clinical social worker, its mission is to support students in grades 6, 7, and 8 academically, socially, and emotionally. Forty seats in ASPIRE are reserved for students whose teachers recognize that they are struggling with school, emotions, mental health, behavior, or social/familial stresses.  Teachers refer these students to ASPIRE for extra academic, emotional, and/or social support.  In addition, the program enrolls 25 other students from the school. 

Activities and Schedule

3:30:  Snack and Socialize
4:00:  Homework Help and Tutoring
5:00:  Activity Choices
6:00:  Dismissal/Pickup

Program activities run on eight-week cycles.  Children select what activities they will participate in based on a rotating menu.  Examples of activities: Cooking, Basketball, Double Dutch, Hip Hop Dance, African Dance, Stepping, Recording Stars, Film Making, Music Making, Drama, Beading and Jewelry-Making, Knitting, Card-Making, Fashion Design, Crafting Poetry Books, Multicultural Book Club, Newsletter, Recycling Club, Science Projects, and many others.  We always encourage students to suggest activities they’d like us to offer.

Mental Health and Emotional Supports

ASPIRE staff includes a Master’s-level social worker and MSW social work interns who provide needed emotional support, crisis intervention, and therapeutic interventions for students and families.  ASPIRE offers psychoeducational groups and boys’/girls’ groups, where students explore issues of safety, decision-making, and healthy choices.  ASPIRE also brings in high school peer leaders to teach about prevention of high risk behaviors.  These older teens become important mentors and role models for the middle school students. ASPIRE students can also be referred to AIP’s on-site Connecting With Care therapist for additional counseling services.

Academic Support

ASPIRE emphasizes academics in order to help our students achieve in school.  Staff members are available during Homework Help to guide students in completing their schoolwork.  In addition, we offer individual and small group tutoring for children needing extra instruction.  We work closely with students to help them learn to take responsibility for keeping track of their assignments and completing their homework on time.

Teacher and Family Connections

ASPIRE is in frequent contact with Frederick School teachers, collaborating with them to support students’ homework completion and other goals.  We collect formal reports from teachers about each child’s academic performance and classroom behavior every two weeks.  Because we are fully integrated into the infrastructure of the school, we get to know the Frederick School teachers well and communication between school and afterschool flows easily.

ASPIRE staff calls all our families at least once each month to confer about students’ attendance, academic performance in school, and behavior during ASPIRE.  The reports from teachers, combined with our own feedback, form the basis for this conversation.  ASPIRE also distributes a monthly ASPIRE Newsletter for our families.  Our Family Nights, held every 2 to 3 months, are very popular with the families of our students.

Notable Achievements:

  • Massachusetts Department of Education Exemplary Program Award: In July, 2008, AIP's ASPIRE After School Program was named an Exemplary Program by DOE, one of only three programs in Boston to receive this distinction.
  • BPS DELTAS Department Bridge Award: In June, 2008, ASPIRE received the Bridge Award from the Department of Extended Learning Time and Services, in recognition of our success in sustaining school/community partnerships.

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