Out of School Time Programs – Designs and Implementation
5Works, Inc. works collaboratively with ministries and organizations to design and customize programs and services for under-resourced communities. The programs include but are not limited to after-school programs for children and youth. The specific services are program design & development; training for the program administrators, staff and volunteers; and technical support in implementing the program in the service area. 5Works, Inc. will also provide the tools for evaluation of the program. In order to make an effective change in the life of a child we must impact the home environment. 5Works does this by incorporating a mandatory parental involvement component in its program models.
Programs for Adult Learners
5Works, Inc. works with apartment complexes to provide an array of services for residents. Educational programs are on the top of our list, but we customize the services to fit the requests of the complex. We also assist in connecting residents to much needed community resources.
The COMET partnership aims to enhance the Alief community through programs focused on academic improvement and healthy living for Alief students, parents, and families residing in the participating apartment complexes. At that time, over 60% of the student population in Alief ISD lived in apartment complexes.
Purpose/Mission: Engage the community in a collaborative work to develop, implement and support a program model which provides an enriching afterschool experience for Alief Students.
Vision: The COMET partnership will enhance the Alief Community through programs focused on Academic Improvement, Character Development, and Healthy Living for AISD students, parents, and families residing in apartment complexes.
Testing The New Program Model
In the Spring of 2013, COMET launched pilot programs in 2 sites to test the theory and the new program model. After the 4 month trial period, parents, volunteers, and apartment staff gave a resounding affirmation to the project, which moved COMET out of the test phase and into its formal implementation. Today, COMET operated Monday through Friday, in three apartment complexes and four school campuses.
The apartment complex is responsible for providing program space and lodgings for the program coordinator for one year. The school district provides all the background investigations for potential volunteers, helps to furnish each program site with furniture and supplies, provides training and materials, and academic support. Heads Up Houston offers recreational activities both on-site and via its facility, training, and provides supplies to each program site.
We helped design the program model. Our responsibility is to coordinate the effort and keep it moving in the right direction, towards becoming a community self-sustaining program. We provide training of the program leaders who oversee the program sites, and the volunteers who either tutor or provide some service. Our staff maintains effective communication between the participating community organizations, the apartment complexes, the neighboring schools, churches, Heads Up Houston, and other non-profit organizations to work in partnership. We also evaluate the project by surveying parents, school administrators, apartment property owners/manager, volunteers, and program leaders.
No new program is immune to challenges. For COMET, the program space governs the number of children that participate creating the need for a wait list and creative ways to keep older students engaged. Plans are underway to expand to more sites in Alief as well as other areas of Houston.
Our Future Plans
It is 5Works, Inc.’s intent to share the COMET model with every school district in and around the Houston area. Plans are underway to serve 5 new schools this fall and we have added a program for Middle School youth as well.
5 High Schools Student Volunteers
Consulting and Training
5Works, Inc. offers consulting services for ministries and organizations focused on capacity building.
Some of our topics are: board governance, administration, fundraising, program development, fiscal responsibilities, and human resources. We also provide training in Youth Development, Leadership for Youth, Parenting classes, Social Media, and how to help children/youth with bullying and violence in schools.
We have had the privilege of working with the following current and past clients:
Barbara Moore Educational Center
5Works, Inc. has been working in apartment complexes since 2013 offering programming for children, but in 2015, we were approached by the regional manager at one of the complexes with a request to develop and operate educational services for its residents. These service included GED Preparation, English as a Second Language, Adult Education, Financial Literacy, Nutrition and Health workshops. We accepted the challenge began our first year offering an array of classes. We soon added activities that fostered community such as holiday events: Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Fiesta, Fall Fest, Back to School Pool Party, Easter Egg Hunt, to name a few. We also help sponsor Safety meeting for the residents, food distributions, Bible Studies, and a community favorite, our Look & Take. We collect gently used items from the residents and host a monthly event to give residents the opportunity to look through the donations and take what they need. Neighbors helping neighbors. It is a lot of fun. It gives residents an opportunity to feel like they are making a difference in lives of their neighbors.