The Partnership for After School Education (PASE) Explorers Program is designed to provide fourth-sixth graders attending after-school programs with experiential learning activities that explore different neighborhoods and expose them to the rich assets in these areas.
Students learn to interview people in their communities, explore the cultural impact of local institutions and reflect on what they learn through writing and conversation. They are introduced to different documentation strategies using an array of digital tools. They audio record interviews, collect digital images, edit video and compile everything into websites using the suite of coding tools at Webmaker.org The collaborative nature of this program allows students to learn from one another and take different leadership roles. A culminating event marks the completion of the program, where teams of students give presentations to the Explorers community and talk about their process, new skills and experiences.
In 2012-2013 the program kicked off with six participating afterschool programs who received the Brooklyn Explorers Curriculum Guidebook, developed by PASE. The guidebook is aligned with Common Core Standards and global learning competencies and includes activities and technology components; training and technical assistance to support successful implementation of the program; a stipend to help cover some costs of program implementation; an opportunity to showcase young people’s successes at the Brooklyn Explorers Expo – a Brooklyn-wide culminating event that brought together all selected agencies; and tools to help with evaluation of the program.
Launched in January 2012 as a pilot program in Brooklyn, NY funded by the Barclays Nets Community Alliance, the program was expanded with funding from the Pinkerton Foundation to include enhanced technology components developed by Hive NYC Learning Network, linkages with cultural institutions, and technical assistance and other support for the participating afterschool programs. The six afterschool programs participating in Brooklyn Explorers were:
- Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services Inc. at PS 106 (Bushwick)
- Flatbush Development Corp (Flatbush)
- Marks Jewish Community House (Bensonhurst)
- Millennium Development at PS 115 (Canarsie)
- Police Athletic League – Wynn Center (Bedford Stuyvesant)
- Sunset Bay Community Services-Warren Street Center (Gowanus)
While this program has the unique ability to be implemented in any neighborhood and incorporate global learning goals, the 2012-2013 program, continued to draw from the strength of Brooklyn’s diversity – as Brooklyn Explorers. The program incorporated the borough’s cultural and educational institutions while building on after-school programs’ unique abilities to give young people access to creative programs that teach skills that are essential for success including critical thinking, technology literacy, ability to collaborate and work in teams, creativity, communication, and more!
This project was funded by the Pinkerton Foundation in 2012.