The After School Learning Immersion Program, now in its 7th year, is currently offered at two locations for the 2014-2015 school year: PPDC (Central) and Fairfield Court Elementary School (PPDC@FCES). Students at both locations received academic instruction, reading assistance, enrichment experiences, mentoring, and tutoring.
Each participating student is tested at the beginning of the school year utilizing a nationally standardized assessment. The computer-adaptive test determines each student’s skill level in reading and math and tailors an academic plan for his or her progress. Certified or experienced teachers in small classroom settings (12-14 students, one teacher, and one teacher’s assistant) then administer the academic plan. In addition, volunteers work with students during one-on-one mentoring sessions.
The majority of students served at PPDC are in grades 2-8 and receive daily instruction in core subject areas as well as the opportunity to participate in two enrichment activities. Each weekly lesson plan for the students incorporates three components: project-based learning, learning through literature, and S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum.
The program goals of the PPDC middle and high school program is to educate, engage, and elevate, focusing on career and personality assessments, job shadowing, and an introduction into potential careers. Homework assistance and academics remain a strong component of the middle and high school programs. High school students at Peter Paul are provided with a more flexible program and trusted with more responsibility than younger students. All of the participants volunteer and/or work at Peter Paul to gain practical experience and support. These students receive assistance with college applications, help with SAT/ACT preparation, and are engaged in targeted career discussions.
Students attend the PPDC satellite program at Fairfield Court Elementary (PPDC@FCES) four days per week (Mondays through Thursdays) from immediately after school until 5:30 pm. Using the PPDC onsite model, this program supports students in grades 2-5. The 2014-2015 academic year marks the third year of the PPDC@FCES program is only possible with strong partnerships from Richmond Public Schools, Challenge Discovery Projects, Communities in Schools of Richmond, St. James’s Episcopal Church, and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
Grant funding to make the initial two-year pilot program possible was generously provided by The Community Foundation, Jessie Ball duPont Fund (via St. James’s Episcopal Church), the McKissick Family Foundation, and Capital One.