St. Stephen's After School Programs
Nature and Purpose
The mission of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is to build a strong and vibrant community, with the Sunday liturgy at its center and weekday programs inspired by values of justice emanating from this gathering. The mission of St. Stephen's Youth Programs is to serve the children of the neighborhood by providing them with a safe, challenging, and supportive community in which they can thrive. We want all members of the community to feel safe, feel big, and feel connected.
St. Stephen's is located in the middle of the Villa Victoria housing project in the South End of Boston. We are easily accessible by public transportation. The congregation has served immigrants, children, and those on the economic margins for 160 years. Our Sunday congregation reflects the diversity of the South End: black, Latino, Anglo, rich, poor, gay, straight, old, young, theologically conservative, theologically progressive. We serve over 100 young people in our weekday programs; almost all have roots in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, go to public school, live in public housing, and qualify for other forms of federal assistance.
Elementary School Program: Four groups of 15 children, each led by an experienced lead counselor and supported by high school age CITs (Counselors-in-Training), rotate through academic and enrichment activities during the day. PULSE students will work with a specific and consistent group, building relationships with those 15 children. Specific tasks will include building reading, math, & technology skills; help with creative activities such as art and music; and participation in sports and swimming. We also offer programs that support the emotional and spiritual growth of children; PULSE students are invited to engage with these as well. In addition, there will also be many opportunities for PULSE students to lead activities in their areas of expertise (e.g. dance, cooking, weird science experiments). Being a community program, PULSE students will also take part in chores necessary in creating a safe, clean space for young people, such as cleaning and help with cooking.
All PULSE students will receive training and support at the beginning and throughout their time at St. Stephen's, so that they feel confident building relationships, supporting academic progress, and encouraging positive behavior. PULSE students will need to be creative and patient, have appropriate boundaries and a willingness to be playful, and have a great sense of humor.