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Outback Summer Program

Licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC)

1st-6th Grade Outback Summer Program
Kindergarten Outback Program

We are aware of an issue where some families are not able to complete the registration process for the Outback Summer Program. Our system administrators have been made aware of the problem, and are working on a solution. We have closed registration until this issue can be fixed. Our apologies, and we thank you for your patience.

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1st-6th Grade Outback Summer Program
Outback Summer Program provides a high-quality summer experience for families who value creativity, culture and community. We specialize in building community through creative explorations. Our neighborhood location and large backyard are the perfect setting for children to build friendships and express their individuality, and our teachers strive to make every child feel welcome. Through daily activities in drama, sports, visual arts, science, dance, gardening, cooking, music, and more, we inspire children to let their imaginations guide  them! We strive to strike the perfect balance of structure of freedom for a safe yet fun summer. Children must be entering 1st-6th Grade in the fall of 2015 to be eligible. Outback Summer Program is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

Our Staff
Outback celebrates and honors the diversity of interests, curiosities and talents that children bring with them to our program by offering a diverse array of activities presented by a diverse staff. At Agassiz Baldwin Community we have been educating and nurturing children for over three decades. Our staff is a made up of artists, dancers, athletes, musicians and childcare specialists with skills in everything from printmaking to cartooning to soccer. Many summer teachers are recruited from our afterschool program. Morning specialists, who are professionals in their fields, will guide students in deepening their appreciation and skill level in dance, sports, drama, ceramics and other visual arts. The staff is trained every year in both first aid and CPR. Teachers are assisted by youth from the Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Program and the Cambridge Mayor’s Youth Program. These CIT and Mayor’s Youth teens are never responsible for groups of children, but rather there as an extra pair of hands to assist teaching staff, and are great role models for Outbackers!

Our Space
We are located at 20 Sacramento Street, off Massachusetts Ave between Harvard and Porter Squares. Outback takes place in the tree-shaded backyard of the historic ABC building. Our backyard includes a sandbox with water component, children’s garden, play structure, and bocce ball court. For our sports lovers, the backyard offers an adjustable basketball hoop, cement four-square court and a dedicated wall ball board.

Outback also has uses Sacramento Field (across the street) and Alden Park (Tot Lot, down the block) for sports and play. The Maria L. Baldwin school is our location during rainy or hot weather, where we have use of the community room (includes a kitchen), gym, several classrooms, and cafeteria. Outback will continue the use of the 3D and ceramics studios in the state of the art Maud Morgan Arts Center.

A typical day at Outback:
8:30-9:05 Arrival, Free Play
9:05-9:20 Morning Groups
9:20-9:30 1st Meeting
9:30-10:30 1st Club
10:30-10:50 Snack
10:50-11 2nd Meeting
11-12 2nd Club
12-12:30 Lunch
12:30-1:15 Recess
1:15-1:30 Quiet Time
1:30-1:40 Afternoon Meeting
1:40-2:40 Afternoon Choice
2:40-3:00 Clean Up, Closing for Regular Day, Pick-up
Extended Day
2:45-3 Snack
3-3:30 Recess
3:30-3:45 First Meeting
3:45-4:30 1st Extended Day Choice
4:30-4:45 Second Meeting
4:45-5:30 2nd Extended Day Choice
5:30-5:45 Pick up

Choices, Choices, Choices!
Outback is a choice-based program allowing children to pursue their interests and make decisions about how they want to spend their day. Teachers present their activities, called “choices” during community meetings and children can then decide which choice most inspires them. Morning choices are “Clubs” which children choose on Monday and continue to do for the week. Clubs give more time for teachers and Outbackers to delve deeper into the chosen focus and work on ongoing projects. Afternoon  choices aren’t clubs so children can try something new  and not commit to the full week. Some choices are based on weekly themes that present art and physical activities within a multicultural, multidisciplinary context. Participating in these stimulating activities helps children set the stage for learning in the fall, while exercising their minds and bodies.

Past choices and clubs have included cooperative games, sports, science, exploration, visual arts, ceramics, stories and books, music, drama, cooking, gardening, yoga, dance, jewelry making, improv comedy, origami, fashion and costume design, mapmaking, scavenger hunts, free swim* and more! Everyone is sure to find something that sparks his or her curiosity! We aim to have the right balance of structure and freedom so that children are empowered to enjoy the activities they love…and try something new!

* Free swim is an choice that happens twice/week during the regular day schedule after lunch. Due to popularity it occasionally does fill up. We do our very best to give each child an opportunity to swim at least once per week, and twice if at all possible. We follow the schedule of the pool if the pool is closed we will not have the swimming option.

Specialist Clubs (9:00 am-12:00 pm):

  • Drama: character development, improv, play writing, performances
  • Visual Arts: cartooning, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation
  • Ceramics: clay projects that will be fired in our kiln
  • Dance: creative modern, jazz, hip hop, international
  • Science: experiments, nature exploration, inventions
  • Sports (full day): Baseball, Soccer, Basketball, Capture the flag, Four Square, Wall ball, Cooperative games, and many more

Piano
Families can sign their children up for 1 or 2, 30 minute individual piano lessons that take place during the Outback day. They are taught in the Baldwin School and students are walked back and forth by the instructor. Lessons are taught by Vickie Chen. Vickie loves to work with children and believes that learning piano should be fun, but disciplined practices are also necessary to establish a solid foundation. She incorporates games and body movements into her lessons to train her students to read, count, and help them develop their sense of rhythm at early ages. In addition to playing time on the piano, her lessons consist of ear training, theory and rhythm. Registration will be sent our with welcome packets closer to the summer.

Outback 2015 Schedule
Regular Day: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am- 3 pm
Extended Day: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am- 5:30 pm

To register for full weeks of extended day, you can add this to your cart when you do online registration to secure your space for the full week. You can also do drop individual days as long as there is space in the program. To do this, there is a form available at the sign-in table at Outback.

Outback runs for 8 continuous weeks. Registration is done by the week and you may register for any number of weeks. While many of our children do the whole summer, many do not. We have new students every Monday and make sure to go over all the basics for new children and keep a variety of activities throughout the summer so returning children stay engaged and excited.

Themes and Dates
Week 1, July 6th-10th: Go Team!
Week 2, July 13th-17th: Stars and Galaxies!
Week 3, July 20th-24th: Animal Planet
Week 4, July 27th-31st: This Day in History
Week 5, Aug 3rd-7th: Kapow! (superheroes and other legends)
Week 6, Aug 10th-14th: Urban Adventures
Week 7, Aug 17th-21st: Abracadabra!
Week 8, Aug 24th-28th: Build It Up!

Field trips
Each week (except for Week 1), several buses of Outbackers, teachers, parents chaperones and CITs wearing bright tie dyed t-shirts, travel to a different local beach to spend the day swimming, building sandcastles, playing soccer, sea shell hunting, going on nature walks and simply enjoying the sun and the sand. These trips are highly organized to ensure safety and fun for everyone and are a favorite part of Outback for many! Beach trips are usually on Thursdays.

There are also a variety of other field trips to Boston area museums, parks and other destinations throughout the summer. Many of these trips are for specific age groups and are generally optional. Outbackers may also have the opportunity to go on many local walking field trips to Farmer’s Markets, the Cambridge Public Library, The Harvard Natural History Museum, the Harvard Yard Sprinklers, the War Memorial Pool and other destinations in our neighborhood.

Tuition
2015 rates will be forthcoming and will be similar to 2014 rates. If there is a rate increase, families will be billed the difference before the summer begins. 2014 Rates are below as a reference. 

•   Regular Day – 8:30 am-3:00 pm
Tuition: $330/week
•   Extended Day – 3:00 am-5:30 pm (must be registered for Regular Day to attend)
Tuition: $75/week, $20/day

Registration
Registration is online! Registration must be accompanied by a $100 non-refundable deposit per week per child. Balance of payment for all registered weeks is due by April 30th, 2015. Tuition and Refund Policies will be available when we open registration. Outback registration fills quickly on a first-come-first-served basis, so we encourage families to register as soon as possible. Outback accepts registrations throughout the entire summer. We will maintain a wait list for each week and will inform families if a space opens for them.

Financial Assistance
Scholarships are available for the Outback Summer Program.  To apply for a scholarship, register online using the discount code “SCH2016″ which will waive the fee when registering. You must then also submit a paper scholarship application along with the required documentation. Once your scholarship application is processed, you will be required to submit a deposit equal to one week’s tuition, which may be reduced if you received a scholarship. Please download the application & guidelines. Scholarship applications are due by April 15th and awards will be finalized by May 30th,  2015. Please see the Scholarship page for more details on guidelines and how to apply.

Vouchers for families receiving financial assistance through the Child Care Choices of Boston (CCCB) must register online using the voucher discount code “VOU2016″, and must submit proof of a summer voucher (when available). The voucher code will waive the fees when registering and a one-week deposit will be due when your summer voucher rate is approved.

Contact the Outback Summer Program
Questions?  Contact Maria LaPage, Director of Children’s Programs, at (617) 349-6287 x11 or mlapage@agassiz.org.

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Kindergarten (K) Outback Summer Program
Kindergarten students are part of the larger Outback but have a dedicated staff and age-appropriate activities. Students must be four years old by March 31st, 2015 to be eligible for Kindergarten Outback. Our staff is sensitive to the fact that this may be your child’s first summer program experience. Activity times are age-appropriate and rest time is built into the day to allow children a comfortable daily schedule. Our priority is to make all incoming children feel welcome in this new setting by grouping children into smaller cohorts and minimizing transitions throughout the day.

Our Staff
The K Program is led by our Early Education Director in collaboration with Outback teaching staff and Mayor’s Youth. Our staff is a group of creative, caring, and engaging educators, many of whom are recruited from our Kindergarten Afterschool program. Each staff member is certified in first aid and CPR and exceeds the qualifications of an EEC verified teacher.

Our Space
The K Program shares the backyard at 20 Sacramento with the 1st-6th grade program. The indoor classroom space in our building is also dedicated for the Kindergartens so they have a quiet, separated  space, air-conditioned space.

Choices, Choices, Choices!
Choices include creative movement/dance, drama, music, sports/cooperative games, outdoor play and the visual arts. The Kindergarten Outback Program will follow the weekly themes as seen above. The programming is focused on creative self-expression, with opportunities for cooking, cooperative games, nature discovery, and water play on hot days.

Field trips
We will go on outings around the neighborhood and will also have several Kindergarten Field Trips to Boston area destinations. Past year’s trips have included the Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Nature Center and The Puppet Showplace Theater. Kindergarteners also attend the weekly beach trips with the older group. We have many staff, helpers and chaperones to keep the Kindergarten group safe, hydrated, sun-screened and happy at the beach!

Schedule & Registration
Please see the registration process for the 1st-6th Grade Outback Program above.

Contact the Kindergarten Outback Summer Program
Questions? Contact Maria LaPage, Director of Children’s Programs, at (617) 349-6287 x11 or mlapage@agassiz.org.

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