Rainbow Child Development Center’ s (RCDC) Extended Learning School Age Program services 120 children daily between the ages of 5 up to 13 years old. RCDC collaborates with nine Worcester Public Schools and provides families with affordable after school programming. The focus is an enriched, stimulating curriculum with an emphasis on homework, academic assistance, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities, and physical exercise from the close of school to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and school vacations. Established in two locations, namely Belmont Community School and Rainbow Child Development Center. Rainbow is fortunate for its partnership with Worcester Public Schools. Children are required to complete homework daily before participating in enrichment activities. Younger children, who may not have homework, read daily to improve their literary skills. Computer access for homework completion, research and recreation is available at the three sites. RCDC’s After School Staff reviews the students’ report cards each term to track their achievements.
Throughout the academic year and summer RCDC recognizes the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) positive influence on children’s education. RCDC’s After School Staff and Educational Partners play a key role in further advancing children’s interest in STEAM, instilling a “Growth Mindset”, and reinforcing the importance of health and nutrition. The Center’s goal is to have a positive impact on children’s lives in order that they successfully complete high school, attend college, and become a contributing citizen in the workplace.
Extended Learning School Age Program Highlight
The majority of Rainbow’s families have family or friends in Puerto Rico who were affected by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. After hearing conversations at home about the devastation in Puerto Rico, the children wanted to help. They decided to offer free basil lemonade from the Center’s Merchandising Cart and requested donations from people passing by the Center. This was their first time being involved in a philanthropic effort with an understanding that their efforts will help others to recover from the hurricane.
The children raised $500 and personally gave it to the Executive Director of the Red Cross of Central MA. They understood the hardship and tried to imagine what it would be like to not have food, electricity, and their home ruined. They tried to envision what it would be like not to have clothing and water for weeks. All were touched knowing their efforts would help people in need. They learned that “In giving, you receive.”
Going forward each year, students in Rainbow’s afterschool program will select and lead an annual fundraiser for a philanthropic cause.