Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC) provides year-round programming for at-risk urban youth which is designed to empower young people, primarily from under-resourced communities, to strengthen their social-emotional skills through experiential, environmental, and adventure-based programming. The organization serves over 7,000 youth from Mid-Atlantic states. Its award-winning Summer Bridge program is designed to reduce summer learning loss by delivering academic enrichment programming through hands-on STEM, Literacy, and project-based learning curriculums, and providing youth with outdoor adventure-based problem-solving and cooperation activities such as a ropes and challenge courses, canoeing, and a climbing tower.
What can PBC do to better assess participants’ learning and development outcomes and attitudinal shifts towards their personal and academic growth? Are there gains in STEM and literacy knowledge for Summer Bridge program participants? A 2017 intern’s work on the issue, including developing an assessment tool and gathering some preliminary data, will be a useful resource. PBC would like to know what other comparable organizations are doing that have been proven to develop SEL in youth. How are other programs effective and how are results measured? Additionally, PBC is interested in getting curriculum developed to help students understand the campus’s hydrogenerator and for project-based lessons on science.