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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

Check back for information in 2018

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 2017 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, so 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

Families can sign their children up for 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 and Pei-Yeh Tsai, who also teach piano at our Afterschool. Registration information will be sent to families by mid-June.

Outback 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.

Dates for Summer 2017 Program
Week 1:  July 3rd-7th (Closed 7/4 for Independence Day)

Mad Science:  Choices based on fun, wacky science experiments and cause and effect.

Week 2:  July 10th-14th

Enchanted Forests and Fairytales: We’ll bring some magic to Outback with choices inspired by classic and new fairytales.

Week 3:  July 17th-21st 

Boston Adventures: We will bring Boston to Outback by hosting our own “Red Sox vs. Yankees” wiffleball game and our own “MFA” art gallery.

Week 4:  July 24th-28th

Back to the Future: Outback will start off the week in the past and move through decades to the future!

Week 5:  July 31st-August 4th

Game Show Week: Look for activities like Outback’s Got Talent, Project Runway for designing challenges, and games that challenge our brains and bodies.

Week 6:  August 7th-11th

Prehistoric/Jurassic World Week: Let’s be paleontologists, archeologists, and historians this week!

Week 7:  August 14th-18th

Waterpark: Water themed activities will rule this week. We will plan in the water, do water based science experiments, and use water in our art activities.

Week 8: August 21st-25th 

Collaborate and Create: Let’s work together to build, engineer, and design. Produce our own obstacle course, invent a new game, plan a community art project.

Field Trips and Special Events
Each week, several buses of Outbackers, teachers, parents chaperones and CITs wearing bright 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. 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.

We also bring guests, shows, and exhibits to Outback. In 2017, expect exciting performances, sports workshops, Mad Science, animals, and more!

Tuition:  Below are the rates for Summer 2017

•   Regular Day – 8:30 am-3:00 pm
Tuition: $345/week
•   Extended Day – 3:00 am-5:30 pm (must be registered for Regular Day to attend)
Tuition: $425/week,  or $20/day

Registration is online! Registration must be accompanied by a $100 non-refundable deposit per week per child. Full 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 “SCH2018” 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 reviewed on an ongoing basis. 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 “VOU2018”, 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 Molly Juhlin, Director of Children’s Programs, at (617) 349-6287 x11 or mjuhlin@agassiz.org.


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, 2017 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 Samantha Eaton, Early Education Site Director, at (617) 349-6287 x14 or seaton@agassiz.org.

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