Robot models made from recycled products, working drawbridges made from Legos, animated stories and chapter books created on iPads, and more were on display at the Harvard Allston Education Portal’s fall 2013 Mentoring Student Showcase and Open House on December 8. The Showcase is an opportunity for the Allston-Brighton youth “mentees” who participate in the Education Portal’s Mentoring Program to share their work from the fall semester with their families and the community. Attendees at the showcase visited the interactive stations hosted and by the mentees and Harvard undergraduate mentors and participated in activities such as, tasting ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, making their own tie-dyed cloth, watching original music recordings, playing board games, and learning about recycling.
The Showcase culminates the fall semester of the Mentoring Program, in which 107 children from Allston-Brighton were mentored by 24 undergraduate mentors from Harvard University in one-on one sessions or small groups. The program builds on Harvard’s commitment to education beyond the classroom and includes mentoring in visual arts, science, writing, and public speaking, as illustrated in this video.
The fall Mentoring Program also included participation from students from two Boston Public Schools in Allston-Brighton – the Gardner Pilot Academy (GPA) and the Jackson-Mann K-8 School. The Harvard Allston Education Portal Mentoring Enrichment Program for the GPA and the Harvard Allston Education Portal Mentoring Enrichment Program for the Jackson Mann are specifically developed for the two respective schools. Students engage in hands-on inquiry-based science and humanities enrichment activities in small groups. Susan Johnson, the Teaching and Curriculum Manager for the Ed Portal and the Program Manager for Harvard’s Life Sciences Outreach Program, works with the undergraduate mentors to help them utilize their expertise and the resources of Harvard College to develop curricula and run the sessions. Approximately 13 students from the GPA’s 4th, 5th, and 6th grade after-school program participated and approximately 20 students from the Jackson Mann’s 4th grade participated this semester.
The Ed Portal offers academic, cultural, wellness, and recreational programs and events for Allston-Brighton residents of all ages, as well as many programs that are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Ed Portal’s website or call 617-496-5022.