Groundwork for Youth
Groundwork for Youth is based on a program model that has been implemented at Harvard University's Phillips Brooks House and in two nationally recognized youth development organizations, Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership ( in Connecticut, and Heads Up ( in Washington, D.C.

College students and high school students are employed to serve as group leaders for children ages 7 to 14 in a full day, 7-week summer program that includes a reading-based curriculum, athletics, field trips, and camping. Before the summer begins, senior and junior counselors engage in an intensive two-week training course designed to prepare them for the summer. After they are trained, each collegiate senior counselor is paired with a high school student junior counselor to co-deliver a structured curriculum to a group of ten (10) children through an intensive summer enrichment experience and after-school throughout the year. During the academic year, college and high school student counselors continue to meet with children after-school for tutoring and extracurricular activities. Certified teachers provide literacy instruction to each group during the summer and academic year. Social workers work closely with students, counselors, and their families to support students's personal development.

The Groundwork for Youth enrichment model has unique components that promote intensive social and academic development for children, and significant professional development for staff.
  • Low child to staff ratio
    Child to staff ratio is 5:1. Children are placed in same age, same gender groups of 10 with a college student and a high school student working together to lead each group.
  • Out-of-state trips
    Each group culminates the summer program with a 3 to 5 day trip to a city at least 100 miles away. In August 2002, Groundwork for Youth students visited historic sites, museums and colleges in Washington, D.C. Students are prepared for the out-of-state journey by going on field trips and overnight camping trips with their group prior to the end of the summer.
  • Ongoing staff training and professional development
    College and high school student staff undergo 2 weeks of full day training before the 7-week summer program starts. Training continues during the academic year and is reinforced by supervisory support from experienced professional staff.
  • Neighborhood concentration
    Specific neighborhood areas are targeted for recruiting children and locating program operations. Involving high concentrations of children who live within a few square blocks allows the program to become an integral part of neighborhood life and to catalyze new social capital by fostering additional community relationships.
  • Reading-based curriculum
    Program curriculum is focused on developing literacy skills but also incorporates other academic and life skills. Emphasis is placed on producing written work and other products that demonstrate learning.
Groundwork Inc. :: 150 Court Street, 2nd Floor :: Brooklyn, NY 11201
tel: 718 923 1400 x239 :: fax 718 923 2869 :: [email protected]