Our Youth Academic and Enrichment Programs provide kids in our community with the educational support and extracurricular activities that empower them to achieve academic success and become well-rounded adults.
After School Program
Belong! runs an after-school program for elementary and middle school students. Our staff diligently plans a meaningful, warm, positive, and safe learning environment for students who will benefit from extra academic support in a small group setting. The program helps our students excel in their academic endeavors – reinforcing math skills, reading comprehension, and vocabulary while also forging positive social skills and strengthening relationships. If you would like to sign your child up for tutoring, contact 571-325-8689.
Belong! just implemented the Reading One-to-One program in our after-school classes. The program was designed at the University of California for volunteers to work with elementary school students who were struggling in reading. By focusing on phonics, the program will show kids that they can decode and teach them to do it better and better so that they can be successful and confident readers and writers!
Belong! always welcomes volunteers to support our after-school program. With more volunteers, we can increase the number of kids we reach.
Volunteer tutors will work weekly with small groups of 1-2 children to provide academic support in math and reading through games, read alouds, an other fun activities. The time commitment is 1.5-2 hours per week. We will provide training, activities, and on-going support to make your experience a rewarding one.
To learn more about our tutoring volunteer opportunities, you can see the full Job Description here.
**We have finished recruiting after-school tutors for this semester and are looking to fill volunteer positions for our Summer Academic and Enrichment Program 2023. If interested in serving in our Summer Program, please complete our Summer Volunteer Application.
In January 2023, Belong! started hosting weekly Lego STEM Clubs for K-6th graders at our two tutoring sites. Students work in small groups with Lego mentors and are given a variety of fun and creative Lego challenges that engage them in learning basic concepts of engineering, math, coding, teamwork, and problem-solving.
To learn more about our Lego Mentor opportunities, you can see the full Job Description here.
**We have finished recruiting Lego Club mentors for this semester and are looking to fill volunteer positions for our Summer Academic and Enrichment Program. If interested in serving in our Summer Program, please complete our Summer Volunteer Application.
Book Bounce: English and Early Literacy Program for Children Ages 3-5
Belong has recently partnered with the organization Book Bounce to work with preschool-age Dual Language Learners to strengthen their vocabulary, oral, and listening and comprehension skills before they start Kindergarten. The program works with the parents to give them the resources and training they need to help their children at home. At each session children listen to a story in English, play games, sing and have fun acting out the story. Parents then read the same story to their children in Spanish and take the book home to continue engaging at home. We are excited to help close the literacy gap for children in our community! If you are interested in joining the program or need additional information, please contact 571-325-8689
Summer Academic and Enrichment Program
This past summer, our academic and enrichment program was a source of joy, connection, and support for rising 1st through 7th graders and their families. Belong!'s volunteers provided game-based academic and arts instruction, helping kids enjoy math, science, writing, art, drama, and reading in a fun and creative environment. Special visitors provided opportunities to learn about yoga, soccer, bee keeping, birds and reptiles, service dogs, and more. A major highlight of our program was our field trip to the Museum of Natural History in DC. In our fourth week of programming, we collaborated with Vienna Presbyterian Church (“VPC”) to bring Vacation Bible School to our kids. It was a week of hands-on bible/Christian education mixed with arts and crafts and outdoor activities.
Our team of volunteers worked hard to provide exciting and creative challenges while keeping kids safe. Children had a chance to form new friendships, play, explore new activities, and get ready for the next school year. It was an unforgettable time for both children and volunteers!
Summer Program Volunteers 2023
Station Leaders or Group Guides: We need volunteers to lead this year's summer program activities (Science, Math, Storytime, Arts & Crafts, Drama & Music, Recreation) or work as group guides. Click here to see Station Leader volunteer Job Description and here to see Group Guides volunteer job description.
Food Prep and Serving: Volunteers in this role help with prepping and serving food to our students. It is an ideal opportunity for those who can only commit for a couple of hours one or more days.
Enrichment Visitors Needed: We need volunteers with specialized skills and talents to share with our students. You would present a 35-minute talk and activity twice during one day of our program. The skills/talents we are looking for are in any of the following areas:
Animals – volunteers with any sort of knowledge of animals– rescue animals, guide dogs, snakes, wild birds of prey, etc.
International Talents – Teach our campers a song or dance. Help them cook or prepare a unique food. Show them how to make and play an indigenous instrument or create a traditional kind of art.
The Arts – Do you enjoy storytelling? What about teaching a short class on painting, pottery, yarn art, book-making, or origami? We also welcome group art projects such as painting a small mural.
Other projects/areas of expertise you can share with the students:
A quick gardening project
Wind power or solar energy, or another environmental project
An interactive demonstration of how our water, electric, or other system runs
A bike safety demonstration
Cooking – making ice cream or baking bread
Simple science experiments
A project involving sharing or philanthropy
Your own unique idea!
Program Dates and Weekly Themes:
Week 1 - June 26th to 30th - Outer Space
Week 2 - July 5th to 7th - Vacation Bible School*
Week 3 - July 17th to 21st - Oceans
Week 4 - July 24th to 28th - Rainforests
**Week 2 is a Vacation Bible School Christian School in conjunction with Church For All Nations, and Vienna Presbyterian Church.
Location: Church For All Nations, 8526 Amanda Pl, Vienna, VA 22180 (across from Cedar Lane Shopping Center)
Volunteers must be vetted, so sign up early. You can also contact Laura Kolhoff.
See the video below to get a sense of how much fun we had in last year's summer program!!!
Thank You, Church For All Nations
Thank you, Church for All Nations for sharing your facilities and allowing us to run our programs. Our students and staff are grateful to have a safe space where they can learn, play, and enjoy each other’s company.
Belong! offers programs during school holiday breaks to keep students engaged while having lots of fun. It also provides support to parents who cannot take time off of work when children are off from school.
Our students are exposed to a wide range of activities designed to keep them engaged and stimulate their creativity. Students get a chance to go on field trips, participate in STEM activities, arts and crafts, sports, drama, music, and socialize with new and old friends.
During our last Spring Break Program, students were visited by a couple of soft and furry alpacas and the cutest baby goat!
Working to Improve Reading Skills Through University Partnerships
In the midst of the pandemic, Belong! was presented with a unique opportunity to partner with Townson University to offer 13 students virtual reading and writing support. This paved the way to form a great partnership with the George Mason University’s (GMU) Sturtevant Center for Literacy. In the last couple of summers, Belong! and GMU have helped over 25 elementary school students access up to 24 hours of personalized reading support with trainee reading specialists. Each student receives one-on-one specialized instruction that addresses their individual needs.
Belong! is proud to provide effective ways to enhance the academic success of our students.
I "Belong" Essay Contest
Vienna nonprofit Belong! is sponsoring an essay contest as part of the Town of Vienna’s annual Liberty Amendments Month, celebrating four amendments to our Constitution that provide an opportunity for all to help shape our nation and benefit our diverse heritage. Essay contest winners will be invited to share their writings at the Town of Vienna’s Multicultural Festival on July 15, 2023, the culmination of the month-long celebration.
You must be in 5th or 6th grade.
You may only submit one essay, and it must be your very own original work.
A parent, guardian, or mentor is required to sign stating that the essay is your original writing.
You must submit your essay by email or postmarked June 30, 2023.
Write a short essay (350 words maximum) answering this question: “How do I belong?” Here are some questions to guide you as you consider how to approach the essay:
With the skills I have, how can I contribute to our community?
How does my ethnic background compliment/complete our nation?
How does my personal experience demonstrate that I belong in this country?
Do I have a unique story that adds strength or beauty to our community?
You are encouraged to work with a mentor to help you with brainstorming and light editing.
Perfect English is not required, but a careful, thoughtful response is!
Fill in the application (opposite side).
Submit your application and essay: email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Belong! at 133 Park Street, NE, Vienna, VA 22180 by June 30.
Prizes (Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna, VA)
Top essay: $100
Next three essays: $50 each
Click here for an application.
Questions? Contact email@example.com