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 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.
Volunteer tutors will work weekly with the same small groups of children to build up their confidence and skills in math and reading through games, read alouds, and other fun activities.
Belong! always welcomes volunteers to support our after-school program. With more volunteers, we can increase the number of kids we reach. We are currently recruiting for our fall session, which will run from the beginning of October through mid-December 2021.
Volunteer tutors will work with small groups of 2-3 children to provide academic support in math and reading. 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 join our team of dedicated volunteers and make a lasting impact on young lives, please complete our interest form.
Summer Academic and Enrichment Camp
During this challenging year, our summer enrichment camp 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, sustainable engineering, service dogs, healthy eating, and more.
Our team of volunteers worked hard to provide exciting and creative challenges while keeping kids safe during the coronavirus crisis. 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!
Virtual After-School Program
When the COVID-19 crisis forced schools to close, Belong!’s After-School Program remained open and pivoted to offer virtual classes, innovating to keep kids safe, engaged, and learning regardless of physical setting. For over a year, Belong!’s After-School program connected kids with caring tutors trained to provide kids with active, and engaging learning experiences. Tutors helped students with school work and provided a space where kids thrived, explored and gained confidence in their reading and math skills.
ESOL Zoom Classes
After noticing the disproportionate toll school closure was having on English learners, Belong! expanded its after-school tutoring program to provide English classes, providing students with opportunities to practice their English skills in a fun and supportive environment.
Working to Improve Reading Skills Through University Partnerships
Through a partnership with both Townson University's Reading Clinic (Maryland) and the George Mason University’s (GMU) Sturtevant Center for Literacy, Belong! helped 25 elementary school students access up to 20 hours of personalized reading support via Zoom with trainee reading specials. Each student received one-on-one specialized instruction that addressed their individual needs.
Belong! is proud to provide effective ways to enhance the academic success of our students.
Additional Enriching Resources
Belong! works to provide children with safe spaces and enriching activities that support their development and strengthen their character. We have partnered with organizations whose goals are to serve and support our youth. Here are some of our partners:
Love the Ball USA (LTB) - Belong! partnered with LTB to offer a soccer clinic to underserved elementary-age children in our neighborhood. The children enjoyed learning fundamentals of soccer, meeting new friends while staying active, and building self-confidence.
Madison High School Literacy for All Club: In the Spring, Belong! offered the "Mondays are Fundays" reading program in collaboration with Madison High School's Literacy For All Club. High School students read and played games with elementary-aged children while enjoying time outside.
I "Belong" Essay Contest
This past spring, Belong! sponsored an essay contest for 5th and 6th graders from four Vienna schools, asking students to consider how their background and uniqueness helps them "belong" in our diverse nation. The contest was part of the Town of Vienna’s first annual Liberty Amendments Month, a new initiative to celebrate and learn from our nation's history and heritage.
Essay contest winners for 2021 (listed below) were invited to share their essays at the Town of Vienna’s Multicultural Festival on July 17, 2021, the culmination of the month-long celebration. You can read their essays by clicking on each name below.
$100 award winners:
$50 award winners:
Eli Burns; Marshall Road
Logan Beam; Vienna Elementary
Elaina Chapman; Louise Archer
David Cruz; Cunningham Park
Cristian Gomez; Cunningham Park
Thank you to the Optimist Club of Vienna for helping to sponsor our essay contest and providing a portion of the cash prizes.