About

PUENTES HACIA EL FUTURO MISSION

Puentes Hacia El Futuro (Bridges Toward the Future) enhances our community's health and wellness by providing year-round innovative educational programming to children grades K-8 and their families. As education is the most important social determinant of health, we address long-term health outcomes at their source. We offer after-school programming, adolescent programming for girls and boys, an adolescent soccer team, Dragon Coders, in-class Kindergarten support during the school day, early childhood education, and a combined summer camp and literacy program. Additionally, we support not only our students but the entire family unit: we serve as a point of contact for our approximately 50 families, encouraging parent involvement and connecting them with other services at Puentes de Salud and throughout the region. We work to ensure that our community's children and families are healthy, well-educated, and strong. Please read more about our specific programs below.

PROGRAMS

After-School Tutoring and Mentoring Program: We offer a robust, literacy-focused after-school program for the children of our community in grades K-8 at Southwark School. Puentes Hacia el Futuro supports our students' growth through a multi-faceted, strengths-based approach to education and child development. Daily, students spend two hours in a safe and supportive environment surrounded by peers and caring adults who scaffold and celebrate their progress. Undergraduate and graduate students from surrounding universities, as well as community members and professionals, serve as volunteers and interns in our program. Tutors and mentors guide students through the academic process and engage them in a variety of educational activities, from reading and board games to outdoor play. A commitment to bilingualism and pride for our students' rich Mexican heritage grounds our work, allowing each student to develop a strong sense of identity and positive self-esteem. Weekly we facilitate a Club Day, through which our students spend one hour in small groups exploring yoga and mindfulness, computer coding and robotics, art, or physical games. Throughout the semester, we weave other experiential activities in to our daily schedules to continually expose our students to a breadth of topics, including healthy stress management, nature conservation, and career options.

Dragon Coders STEM Program: Our Dragon Coders computer coding and literacy program is now in its third year and reaches upwards of 400 students as part of the Southwark school curriculum. We use Tynker, an innovative software that teaches kids the fundamentals of coding in a fun and tangible way. Each week after-school Max Henderson, the group's coordinator, works with approximately 15 students in grades 3-7, guiding them through hands-on curriculum modules that teach them to re-create their favorite games, like Flappy Bird and Minecraft. This year, the Dragon Coders will explore robotics by writing code for drones. Visit our Dragon Coders webpage to learn more.

Summer Literacy Program: Each summer we engage our rising 3rd-7th grade students in a rich 6-week literacy camp program. This program enhances our students' bilingual literacy while preventing summer academic setback. Our innovative curriculum selects a theme for each of the weeks, such as food, nature, immigration, music, and superheroes. We pair these topics with a reading and writing focus, ranging from poetry to journalism to persuasive writing. Each week, students read and discuss award-winning bilingual children's literature while learning writing techniques that they can use in their own work. Students complete one finished writing piece per week, building their own portfolio. Our dedicated interns provide daily, personalized attention and mentoring to students as they grow in their reading and writing abilities and self-esteem. Finally, we pair each themed week with a field-trip to extend our learning to a hands-on site in the city! Highlights include hosting our own radio show, cooking with an Iron Chef, and our yearly celebratory pool parties. Check out our summer blog to learn more! 
Subpáginas (2): Puentes de Salud Team
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