‘Unboxing’ academics with MarVan Scholars’ CRATE
MarVan Scholars first launched in 2015, supporting eight Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee locations with after-school online learning opportunities. The program’s goal is to improve academic engagement through intentional learning, increasing time on task and building on school learning goals through extended day learning.
We’re proud to say MarVan Scholars has grown exponentially since 2015: We now serve all Boys & Girls Clubs locations in the Greater Milwaukee area, providing academic help to more than 2,500 scholars in the 2017-2018 academic year.
Now, to build on the great success the MarVan Scholars-supported computer programs have for our youth, we’ve expanded our focus beyond online programs.
Boys & Girls Clubs staff previously faced challenges when finding time to prepare educational lessons for our youth, so our MarVan Scholars staff addressed this need by developing engaging hands-on lesson plans for our direct service staff to use in their classrooms. We call these plans Creative Resources and Activities to Engage (CRATE).
Starting in the fall of 2018, we began providing CRATEs, or monthly pre-planned lesson plans, to all our Club staff. CRATE provides lesson plans that cover literacy, science, technology, engineering, math, and art. A typical CRATE lesson plan includes: Ideas for engaging members, step-by step directions, suggestions on how students might reflect on their learning, as well as opportunities for character and leadership building. CRATE has been successful in being truly engaging for our youth in creative, tactile ways that complement their online learning programs.
We invite you to watch the above video explaining how CRATE works. CRATE is just one way our MarVan Scholars staff continue to achieve our goal to provide exceptional academic assistance to youth in Milwaukee.