All young people deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. Research shows that by age 12, students growing up in underserved communities have had 6,000 fewer hours to learn outside the classroom than peers from well-resourced communities. Our flagship program, Connections, plays a crucial role in closing this gap.
Practicing hands-on science in our ecosystems enhances children's ability to question and observe and sparks their curiosity about the natural world; tackling our challenge structures and participating in Outward Bound expeditions helps them build confidence, resilience, and a greater sense of possibility. This unique combination — of field science and physical challenge — has a profound impact on Boston Public Schools students' academic and social-emotional growth.
We are committed to ongoing evaluation of our programs and to continuous improvement. We use well-established evaluation tools, including the National Institute on Out-of-School Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes (SAYO-Y) tool, the Common Instrument Suite (CIS), and Outward Bound’s Domains of Thriving tool and partner with researchers and educators at Harvard Medical School, Wellesley College, UC Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science, Boston Public Schools, the National Park Service, and Boston After School and Beyond measure the efficacy of our programs.
Every time my daughter would come home from Thompson Island, she would tell me how she learned about a different part of science and asked me to take her to the library. This program was a blessing.~ Mireille Louis, Parent