SPARK Afterschool Academy

ITC launched “SPARK,” an on-campus, afterschool program at Griffin Avenue Elementary in October 2015. For this pilot year, ITC serves 20 participants in 3rd and 4th grade.  It operates daily, from the end of the school day until 5:30pm.

The program is uniquely academics-centered and has a distinctly low staff-to-student ratio (1:7), both of which are unlike any other afterschool programs. The program content and low ratio are critical to providing necessary individualized attention: 90% of the students currently enrolled are “way below” or “below” national benchmarks/standards.

SPARK provides a well-rounded structure and curriculum that emphasizes mastery of the fundamentals–reading, writing, and arithmetic. This is a critical skill set, as it is nearly impossible for any child, much less those from underresourced neighborhoods, to become well-rounded, critical, comprehensive thinkers and learners into the future.

Our daily schedule is broken into three main strategic components:

1 – homework assistance: completion, review, accuracy, tutoring
2 – individualized support & intervention: 1-on-1 / 1-on-2 intervention in reading, writing, and arithmetic
3 – group-based, peer learning: holistic academic activities that foster critical thinking and social-emotional competency, while challenging and reinforcing the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Our program is aligned with Common Core standards and the school’s curriculum, to ensure fluidity, relevance, and reinforcement in learning is taking place for each student.