After School Programming
Each school day, students have an opportunity to build their skills and be exposed to new concepts while enjoying time with their peers and community. Our daily program includes a set hour for homework completion where we make sure to have staff and volunteers on hand to help students with any questions, essays or projects they may have. In addition, we provide a time with carefully designed hour-long activities that engage students with new skills that may become passions or potential careers. These opportunities enhance the time students have for much social space and recreation, which give staff and volunteers the opportunity to form trusted and impacting relationships with each of the students who come through our doors.
The Garage follows the Kennett Consolidated School District and Avon Grove School District Calendars. When schools are closed for holidays, in-service days, or seasonal breaks, The Garage is also closed for open hours. We occasionally take field trips or have special events when schools are closed, so please check our calendar for the most up to date information.
Tutoring: Staff and volunteers provide daily-individualized homework help in specific subject areas, including English language assistance. The majority of our students come from families in which no one has graduated from high school so the Garage employs an incentive system to instill motivation and to teach students persistence towards a goal. Strong relationships with area schools permit parents to have their children’s report cards sent directly to The Garage to maintain academic progress.
Mentoring: Our Volunteer Coordinator recruits, trains and manages volunteer mentors who are matched to work one-to-one with students both within The Garage and in the community. Mentors commit to spending time with their students for at least one hour a week. Prior to involvement in the program, Mentors are interviewed and must pass background and reference checks. Mentors are also required to participate in initial and ongoing trainings to ensure volunteer satisfaction and child safety.
Community Service: Our Community Service activities come in a variety of forms–short and long-term, both volunteer and court-mandated–and yet, each community service endeavor reinforces our efforts to encourage students to reach their potential both as individuals and as members of their community. To promote the value of engagement with the broader community, students and staff work do a variety of volunteer projects in the community such as reading at Tick Tock Early Learning Center and sorting donations at the Kennett Clothing Closet. In the 2018-2019 school year, our students contributed 1,932 service hours to our community!
Boys and Girls Programs: Our Enrichment activities fuse tutoring, mentoring, and service in order to holistically support our students. Our two key enrichment programs are Girl’s Program and Boys Program, which meet bi-monthly and focus on self-discovery including personal, intellectual, social, and emotional development.
STEAM: The Garage prioritizes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) programming into our weekly curriculum which encourages student to be successful in technical fields and develop their creative and use critical thinking skills.
Self Care: The Garage recognizes that health is more than physical upkeep, but mental and emotional as well. The newest Garage program, Self Care, provides students with therapeutic tools to navigate complex emotions and feelings and form practical healthy relationship skills with oneself and others.
Nutrition Kitchen/Incentive Café: Nutrition Kitchen provides twice weekly meals for students made on site at the Garage in our commercial kitchens. Students cook with our volunteers and learn the importance of culinary independence. Additionally, students have access to a free daily snack through donations from area business partners, churches, and individuals. Lastly, students have access to specialty snacks via our Café incentive program. Each day, students may “earn” points for attending programs, completing homework, serving the community, etc. and with their points, student can then “purchase” additional specialty snacks.
MAPS: Motivating, Advancing, Powerful Students (MAPS) focuses on advising and counseling Garage students as they prepare for, and transition to, life after high school graduation. MAPS hosts weekly presentations for all students related to career interests and opportunities, post-secondary education and training programs, and personal aptitude and passion identification. MAPS also hosts weekly gatherings of upperclassmen to focus on relevant transition topics and materials such as college applications, self-assessments, and essays, scholarship information, FAFSA completion, resume writing, networking, etc. Additionally, MAPS hosts monthly college visits throughout the school year and summer, as well as a multi-college overnight opportunity during spring break. Our Graduate Coordinator also works closely, one-on-one, with high school juniors and seniors to guide them as they prepare for adulthood. Further, our GC maintains communication and follows up with Garage alumni to act as a continued resource and bridge for our newer graduates who continue to face immense challenges.
TRAILS: The TRAILS program works as a foundation to the pre-existing Garage program of MAPS (Motivating and Advancing Powerful Students), a program serving high school age youth that focuses on advising and counseling students as they prepare for, and transition to, life after high school graduation. MAPS also serves as a resource for alumni who struggle to launch after high school. Students who were entering the MAPS program in the 9th grade year were found to be lacking in foundational skills that were necessary to their success in the program. Acknowledging this deficiency, the creation of TRAILS began.
TRAILS meets four times per month, twice in each Garage location of Kennett Square and West Grove, PA. The meetings are on opposite schedules as to ensure that both Garage populations are equally served. In total, between both locations, approximately 25 to 30 students benefit from the programming. The programming is set up to intentionally progress students from TRAILS to MAPS and eventually a successful post secondary life.
Career Compass: Career Compass is an 8-week paid summer internship experience for Garage students. Participants are placed at professional businesses and organizations throughout the community directly related to their career interests and aspirations. For many of our students their families depend on them for financial support during the summer; however, youth employment opportunities are scarce and most students feel limited to the mushroom industry. We want our students to know they have other options and to have access to livable wages and new opportunities that generate a platform for building their resume, expanding their skillsets, and growing their confidence. Without access to a Youth Workforce Program like Career Compass our students are at risk of not pursuing post-secondary education and failing to arise from poverty.
School Year Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday, 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Fridays, 3-5 PM for Select Programming. (See our calendar for any given date
Summer at The Garage
Summer programming provides more opportunity to take students outside of our centers to explore our community and region. Weekly field trips, paired with service opportunities, college visits, cooking and nutrition, along with lots of recreation and fun fill our summer calendar. If we aren’t at home, we may be visiting a museum in Washington D.C., exploring the Statue of Liberty in New York, or relaxing at the swimming pool. Students may also be participating in the workforce development program, Career Compass. Check out the program page to learn more about how you can host a Garage student as an intern for the summer!
“The Garage is my second home + my support system.”