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The AfterSchool Partners Curriculum

Got Choice?

Part I: Choices

The students focus on choices they make in their own lives. They learn that they usually have options and that a careful, informed look at the options with a consideration of the results will lead to making better choices. Activities, improvisation, and art are implemented.

Objectives: The ability to make informed choices based on an awareness of options and the development of conditional thinking.

Part II: The Neighborhood

The children learn about their neighborhood, seeing the results of choices others have made historically and environmentally.

Objectives: A greater familiarity with local history and environmental issues and a sense of connection and belonging to their neighborhood.

This unit is adapted to each individual neighborhood. Two of the programs looked at the history of the neighborhood in the following ways:

  • The children at the pilot program at the Central Branch on Huntington Avenue during the summer of 2002 learned about Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, A. Philip Randolph, among others by seeing evidence of the choices they made in their neighborhood. They were led by teens from MYTOWN tours and they went on a scavenger hunt prepared by interns from Northeastern University working with Professor Will Holton.
  • The children at the Dorchester Y program met with Bill Walczak, founder of the Codman Square Health Center, and learned about his choices and the history of Codman Square. They also met Cynthia Loesch, a seventeen-year-old who founded Teens Against Tobacco, an organization of teen volunteers, who are educating the public about issues of smoking and picketing local Codman Square merchants to stop selling cigarettes.

Part III: The Final Poster: "Choices in our Neighborhood"

The children create a poster of drawings, photographs, and words that illustrate choices made in their neighborhoods. They present the poster to local businesses and funders.

Objectives: The ability to work together as a team.

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