We are a direct provider of academic and healthcare programs in Newark, NJ, and a conduit for the distribution of free educational resources to other non-profits for youth in Newark.
The mission of Kids Corporation’s Kids School initiative is to improve the academic preparation and educational motivation of elementary school children in Newark.
We accomplish this goal by bringing the program to one location for 3-5 years, providing hands-on learning in a year-round after-school and summer academic program, supplemented with educational incentive field trips and recreational activities.
What is unique to our model is the combination of trained classroom teachers and college student teacher-assistants: each of our classrooms is staffed by three adults who bring a fusion of experience, energy, wisdom, fresh ideas, mentoring and dedication to our kids. Every summer, our students improve their math and reading rates by average of one full grade level in six weeks. During the school year, our after-school students progress at twice the rate of their school-day peers.
Kids Camp is our flagship summer program for kids.
As an incentive to stay in summer school and as an educational field trip, the students attending our Kids Schools and 35 Partner Programs throughout Newark get to make weekly day trips to Kids Summer Camp, where they investigate nature, swim in the pool, create art, learn teamwork skills, and get health exams. An average of 200 different children visit each day, and the activities and curriculum change each week, so that every visit to Kids Camp is a new and engaging exploration. Each week’s theme is tailored to work in tandem with the in-school curriculum, for an inter-disciplinary approach that maximizes our ability to engage and teach in-depth concepts.
Kids Corporation created the Health Clinic at Kids Camp in 1999 to combat the numerous medical issues we found that were consistently preventing our students from learning.
These medical issues included severe dental decay, poor eyesight, lead poisoning, obesity and malnutrition. Over 10% of our students fail the vision exam, underscoring the need for eyeglasses in order for them to learn to read or see a blackboard. Our health clinic provides medical, dental and vision screenings, including blood and urine testing and BMI calculation.
Where needed, we arrange free follow-up care for every medical issue we identify, including eyeglasses, dental care and insurance enrollment. In addition, our staff registered nurse looks for chronic health problems and evidence of untreated injuries or conditions.
Summer School Activities
Students attend the summer academic program daily, Monday through Friday for 7 hours each day.
The educational component features hands-on, interdisciplinary learning at all levels, using a theme-based curriculum in reading, language arts, math, science, and Newark history. Reading is heavily stressed and writing is incorporated into every subject.
We take the children on educational and cultural adventure trips each week to supplement classroom lessons with experiential learning, including five trips to Kids Summer Camp for a full day of nature studies, hiking, leadership and teamwork games, fine arts, and pool and field recreation. Every student receives a free medical, dental and vision exam each summer, and we coordinate and provide follow-up care.
Students attending the after-school program every school day from 3:00-6:00pm for structured, engaging academic lessons in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, geography and history.
Homework assistance and advanced augmentation of the regular school day’s lessons are included each day. The classes are taught by experienced head teachers in addition to volunteer teacher-assistants from local colleges, who double as mentors and role models.
To supplement classroom learning we take students on two to four supplemental field trips each year. We use the trips both as an incentive for students and as opportunities to expand their horizons beyond their everyday experiences. In addition, all after-school students receive new book bags and school supplies in September, winter coats and Christmas toys in December, and medical exams and healthcare year-round.