Pathways to Academic Growth, Empowerment and Success (PAGES)
Formerly Reducing Achievement Gaps (RAG), this unique, multi-tiered program addresses the academic, social, and basic assistance needs of low-income children of immigrant families in Framingham. JFS strives to ensure that immigrants and their families, including vulnerable children, have measurable improvement in economic stability, academic and career achievement and integration into their communities.
Interventions in elementary school are an important way to promote future academic and life achievement and build social equity. PAGES is a successful, evidence-based model and is led by JFS of Metrowest in collaboration with foundations, private donors, and the Framingham School Department. It is made up of several components:
This component works with third graders, with a focus on identifying children from bilingual classrooms and those with specific educational needs. All Stars students work on building confidence and self esteem, while focusing on reading and understanding school materials, improving communication skills, and troubleshooting cultural differences. The All Stars meet twice a week throughout the school year and are mentored by community volunteers of all ages.
STEAM (Math) Academy uses inquiry-based education with a focus on mathematical principles to help students become open-minded thinkers and communicators. Each year STEAM Academy serves 26 fourth grade students who work with program staff and volunteer mentors to improve and expand their math skills. STEAM Academy meets twice a week throughout the school year.
Weekend Nutrition Program
Many families rely on the free and reduced meal program to ensure that their children will receive adequate meals at school. While this ensures nutrition on weekdays, there is no guarantee that students and other family members will have access to nutritious food on the weekends. On Fridays, parents referred to the program can pick up grocery bags filled with nutritious food to feed their family through the weekend.
Fresh produce is healthy, but it can be expensive. Families who need help providing food for their families are often limited to canned and boxed foods available in food pantries. Healthy Harvest provides free fresh produce to families enrolled in any PALS program. Produce bags are distributed on alternate Tuesdays and include items such as apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, onions, yucca, collards, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and more.
Children’s Clothing Closet
When young, low-income students cannot participate in recess because they don’t have the right clothes for the season, pent up energy can interfere with learning in the classroom. The Children’s Clothing Closet addresses this barrier with items such as new sneakers in the spring and cold weather gear for the winter.
Family Assistance Program
A JFS community resource specialist is available to meet with Wilson families to provide information and assistance regarding housing, employment, nutrition programs, legal assistance, medical assistance, utilities assistance, and answer any other questions. The goal of this program is promote family stability and involvement in the education process. Assistance is offered in English and Portuguese and available to all Wilson families.
A program for Woodrow Wilson School parents, the goal of Parent University is to increase parents’ capacity to be engaged in their children’s education, to understand their children’s educational challenges, and to support them as they learn and grow. Parent University also aims to help parents and guardians reach their own higher educational goals. Through workshops and presentations, Parent University strongly embraces the idea that the resources more a parent or guardian has, the more he or she can give to the child.
To volunteer with the PAGES after school program, apply here.
JFS is proud to acknowledge collaborative relationships with over 100 organizations – from public to private, secular to faith-based, local to international – strategic and powerful partnerships that drive collective impact across multiple domains.
JFS seeks a bilingual caseworker to help advance JFS’ commitment to accelerate social, health and academic equity for low income, often disenfranchised populations. This position will focus mostly on JFS services for immigrants and older adults in Metrowest.
For the 9th consecutive year, JFS of Metrowest aims to provide over 200 backpacks full of school supplies to children in our community who need it most; but given the current public health emergency, this year’s initiative is going to look a little different…!