OUR PROGRAMS & INITIATIVES

ASAS-LA has a unique program model that consists of a four-pillar strategy. Academics & Homework Support; visual and performing arts; youth leadership and community service learning; and health, fitness and nutrition programs. These pillars are supported by 8 program initiatives that demonstrate our holistic approach to extended-day learning and compliment the regular school day in the area of academic support and student achievement.

(WAR): High School Dropout Prevention Programming

We Are Ready (W.A.R.) offers academic support, high school readiness, and college exploration opportunities to 8th graders.  This middle school to high school transition initiative helps students make connections between academic and professional success, while educating them and their families on high school to college requirements. Our staff works with youth to set academic goals and create high school plans. W.A.R. solidifies connections between students’ academic work and the “real world” through field trips to colleges and work sites, job- shadowing, informational interviews, resume workshops, and mentors that help students define and develop their career goals. W.A.R. programming also engages parents and families on topics such as: actions to take to support your child’s transition to high school, high school options for 8th graders, high school academic requirements, and processes for applying to and financing college. 
 
Our CampUs program is a culmination of the WAR curriculum. It is typically held on a college campus. CampUs helps students understand the value and requirements of completing high school and getting accepted to college. While at camp, students sleep in dorms, take classes in lecture halls, and eat in the cafeteria. This immersive experience helps students envision their world after high school. Every day of camp is filled with activities geared towards their future academic success. 
The Quest is a comprehensive college and workforce readiness initiative that challenges Junior and Senior High School students to embark upon an Individualized journey to gain skills critical to employability. The Quest has been intentionally designed to increase student graduation rates; ensure financial literacy; provide guidance for successful college and/or career training program entrance; and inspire long-term career planning. Led by trained ASAS-LA facilitators, students engage in workshop-style collaborative learning sessions that develop their communication, time management, and public presentation skills while strengthening techniques specific to employment interviewing, resume-building, and job-seeking. Students also explore what specific education, training and technical knowledge is required for careers that align with their strengths and interests and receive individualized support and feedback from adult mentors as they discern their college and/or career options.
To empower our students to lead and improve their communities, ASAS-LA launched Life Service Action (LSA), an initiative where students apply what they learn in the classroom to lead their own research-driven service projects. Our Life Service Action (LSA) initiative educates our students on the practical definition of leadership and its applications while allowing them to participate in the process of identifying and electing leaders. Students also develop and lead their own service-learning projects and participate in community-wide days of service. A key LSA program is Entourage where students learn about the democratic process of elections and the meaning of leadership and the responsibility as an elected representative. Entourage students share a strong commitment to dealing with the topical issues of the day while also engaging in meaningful school and community service involvement. A major part of the curriculum involves opportunities for participants to put what they have learned about a specific issue into practice. Entourage requires a minimum of 3 major service projects spread out over the course of a year.
 
Throughout the year, student leaders participate in our Youth Leadership Conference Series which is an opportunity for them to network and learn from one another while leading and participating in workshops. Students are selected as special key-note speakers and all participants have an opportunity to hear from and engage with community leaders and elected officials. Students also participate in panel discussions; evaluate the previous school year; plan for the upcoming school year; and share their service-learning projects they have completed throughout the year.

Career Exploration Opportunities

Career Exploration Opportunities, or CEO, is a financial literacy, career development and entrepreneurialism initiative created to help students learn to be self-sufficient adults, prepare them for the 21st century economy, and inspire long-term career planning. CEO connects youth with community leaders and role models from government, business, and the nonprofit sectors to learn 21st century workplace skills. CEO also incorporates an entrepreneurialism component where students learn how to launch a business from start to finish. Students are tasked with identifying a consumer need, conducting market research, identifying competition, developing a business plan, creating a tangible product, finding investors and marketing their idea.

Sports-As-A-Hook: Health and Fitness programming

Sports As A Hook (SAAH) was launched in response to the youth obesity crisis and focuses on structured physical and nutrition activities that connect sports to lessons on healthy living, teamwork, resilience, and gender equality. To ensure our students are active every day, we offer a range of diverse team and individual sports such as wrestling, soccer, basketball, dance, cheer, and rugby. Competitive sports such as basketball, soccer, wrestling, rugby and cheer & dance all culminate in organization wide competitive tournaments. As part of SAAH, students research and design creative ways to incorporate community service into physical activities, such as organizing fundraising events for charity. Such activities develop students’ sense of community responsibility, empathy, and leadership skills. We also instruct students on topics such as caloric intake and distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy foods. Students use this information to give their diets “makeovers,” determining how to eliminate or substitute poor food choices with healthy ones. Students also learn how to read nutrition labels, calculate optimal caloric intake and burn rates, medicinal uses of foods, and tactics for making small lifestyle adjustments to achieve healthy results.
Our Literacy initiative approach is creating a literate environment that is positive and relevant to students’ lives and culture. By utilizing various curriculums, it helps students develop higher order thinking skills, enhance vocabulary and comprehension strategies, and express themselves through writing strategies. Through KidzLit, a literacy curriculum that features fiction and non-fiction book titles in a dual-language format, students are exposed to everyday life situations and examples of cultural diversity. Write Brain World allows for students to write thoughtfully crafted storybooks which ignites self-expression and boosts self-esteem. Read to Lead is an online reading program that fosters student’s literacy through interactive real-life scenarios where students are placed in leadership positions to solve day-to-day entrepreneurial situations. Millionaire’s Club is an ASAS-LA developed program to encourage students to read a million words throughout the school year. These curriculums are aligned with common core standards and have been proven to increase student’s comprehension and enjoyment of reading, build their vocabulary, deepen their critical thinking, and foster their ability to work with others.
Our Allstars Runs on S.T.E.A.M. initiative inspires students to question the world around them through dynamic and engaging projects in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Robotics, Coding, and Engineering. By utilizing numerous curricula, it allows students to use critical thinking skills, creativity, and engineering concepts to develop solutions to real world problems such as climate change, public safety, and poverty. Programming also exposes students to a variety of STEAM career options, igniting their interest in STEAM at an early age. Projects are relatable to students’ lives outside of school but are also rooted in STEAM concepts allowing students to learn while creating something that is relevant to them. The comprehensive STEAM program focuses on three areas to ensure students are exposed to the many components of STEAM and have the opportunity to practice their skills: understanding and interfacing with Technology (ABC’s of STEAM), STEAM Career Exploration (career panels and workplace visits), putting learning knowledge and skills into action (the annual Beyond Science Fair and showcases).

Social-Emotional Learning

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a new and important initiative in all of our schools. Our approach to SEL is one that promotes positive school climate and culture, and enhances students’ intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive competence. Social emotional learning helps students develop the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for growth. Socially and emotionally trained ASAS-LA staff set the tone in their classrooms by developing supportive and encouraging relationships with their students. Through activities, staff and students are able to apply knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions. Students are given the tools to feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, self-manage, and make responsible decisions.
SEL empowers our staff and students to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe and healthy communities.
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