Vacamas after-school programs enhance academic achievement and personal growth by helping students to learn outside of the classroom. Vacamas operates programs using New Jersey After 3 curriculum, Out of School Time (OST), After School Advantage, and our own GLOW model. Schools get the most benefit from their Title 1 and after-school program funds with customized programming specifically to meet the needs of each school and student population. In designing a program we gather input from the school, students, and parents, as well as our partner organizations.
Here is a sampling of the Vacamas after-school program components:
Academic Tutoring and Test Preparation
Vacamas after-school programs offer homework help in small groups as well as individual tutoring. Parents are actively involved in our academic tutoring and test prep activities by identifying their child’s areas of need. Test preparation workshops can be offered at school or at one of our camp facilities. Vacamas also provides school-break reading lists combined with contests and incentives.
College & Career Exploration
Students explore a wide range of career options through field trips, workshops and mentoring opportunities. They are guided through the process of self-exploration in order to choose a career path, and learn how to research college or vocational offerings, and to understand each step of the admissions process. High school students and parents have the opportunity to go on college visits to schools throughout the region.
GLOW Enrichment Curriculum
Our GLOW methodology uses enrichment activities to teach discipline and perseverance through the arts, STEM including robotics, digital media, dance, drama, music, creative writing, competitive sports and much more. Our individual coaching model gives each student a mentor to help guide him/her through life’s daily challenges.
Health and Family Education
Vacamas’ Healthy Families curriculum targets health-related issues with teens, including pregnancy prevention and sex education as well as parent and child participation in general health and nutrition education.
Experiential Learning at Camp Vacamas
Camp weekends combine small group instruction in Language Arts, Reading, Math and Science with fun, experiential learning activities at camp. Personalized education plans are developed for each student. Children enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, arts & crafts, sports, music, dance and more. Transportation and meals are included.
Leadership & Character Development
Students learn the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship, through workshops and challenge-based activities, including our 9-element, 2-level ropes course at Camp Vacamas. These activities are proven to build leadership, team dynamics, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and other skills needed for success both in the classroom and in the workplace.
Theme-Based Project Learning
Thematic projects make learning tangible for students. This methodology has been proven to create a stronger foundation than lecture-based curriculum and to extend the “shelf life” of lessons learned. Project learning uses a hands-on approach to various subject areas and disciplines and culminates in the creation of a unique project by each student that is shared with peers and with parents.