Young Achievers is a Science & Math Pilot School in Mattapan that serves over 500 students in grades K-8. Cherry trees in full bloom line the entrance walkway, and a full-size rowboat built by fifth grade students welcomes visitors to the school.
Partnerships with and regular visits to the Boston Nature Center, the Arboretum, Franklin Park, and Community Boat Building provide support for a school-wide focus on experiential learning and environmental studies. A couple of second grade boys who spent the morning at the Boston Nature Center tell me they learned that a bird’s feathers “go deep in the body to keep them warm.”
Throughout the building students are listening to stories, reading, writing, solving math problems, and working with computers. K1 students in Chantei Alves‘ class play in sand and water and housekeeping centers. Roselin Dominguez‘s K2 students practice making letters and use their fingers to tap out the sounds in words. The first graders in Shauntell Dunbar‘s class take a dance break after sitting for a lesson on the rug!
A trio of Irischa Valentin‘s 3rd graders reads a book about sharks, talking excitedly about what they’re learning. Sixth grade students in Meg Loughnane‘s class make rectangular prisms out of paper and figure out the volume, while those in Karina Evora‘s math class play a game of Jeopardy to review for MCAS. Standing at a podium in front of classmates, Tasheena Burnett‘s 8th graders take turns sharing what they’ve learned about writing a persuasive essay.
At Young Achievers, BPS staff and visiting teachers from a variety of community organizations offer everything from chess to martial arts. During my visit I watch KO students make drip paintings in the art room with Moise Montejo, and a group of first graders led by Jeana Jones doing a variety of dance moves. In Kimani Lumsden‘s drumming class, second grade students sit in a big circle tapping out slow and fast beats with drumsticks.
K1 Paraprofessional Nieves Rollins says that what she likes best about working at Young Achievers is the children’s enthusiasm for learning. What do you like best about YOUR school?
Have a great summer!