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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

Registration for summer 2014 is still open! To register, visit our new online registration page. We still have space for Kindergarten and 1st-6th grade in some weeks!

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! 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 diverse group of artists, athletes, 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 in both first aid and CPR. The staff is assisted by youth from the Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Program and the Cambridge Mayor’s Youth Program.

Our Space
We are located at 20 Sacramento Street, off Mass. 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 access to Sacramento Field (across the street), Alden Park (Tot Lot) and the Maria L. Baldwin School, which is just down the street. Outback uses the Maria L. Baldwin location during rainy or hot weather, where we have use of the community room (includes a kitchen), gym, several classrooms, and cafeteria.

This summer, Outback will continue the use of the 3D and ceramics studios in the state of the art Maud Morgan Arts Center.

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 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 a choice and due to popularity does fill up. Outback does 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
  • Individual piano  (additional cost)

Maud Morgan Art Classes

All 1st-6th graders can choose ceramics or art as one of the morning clubs every week. Outbackers who are entering 5th and 6th grade in the fall of 2014 also have the opportunity to attend Outback Summer Program for a half day (8:30 am-1:00 pm) and then leave Outback to attend intensive, high quality art classes at the Maud Morgan Art Center located right in our very own backyard. These art classes will give older children an opportunity to use and experience the beautiful studios and be taught by professional artists. This option will be available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, allowing students to attend the Thursday beach trip with Outback. These classes will consist of printmaking, painting, drawing, alternative photography. Students will still have a break for snack and pick-up time is 5:30 pm. Those interested in this should add the Maud Morgan Extended Day option to their cart in our online registration system. This registration option is in addition to the regular day Outback. For more information please visit maudmorgan.com.

Outback 2014 Theme: Celebration!
Activities are planned to engage a sense of wonder about the world we live in. This summer, our 2014 theme “Celebration!” will have Outbackers using their imagination and creativity to celebrate our world, our cultures and our imaginations!

Outback 2014 Schedule and Weekly Themes

Outback starts June 30th and runs Monday-Friday 8:30 am-3:00 pm for eight weeks, with the option for extended day enrollment. We are closed July 4th.

Week 1 (June 30th-July 3rd, closed July 4th) Welcome to Summer: Celebrate the Season!

Week 2 (July 7th-11th): Outback Olympics: Compete, Create, Celebrate!

Week 3 (July 14th-18th): Time Travel: Celebrate our Past, Present and Future!

Week 4 (July 21st-25th): Carnival!

Week 5 (July 28th-August 1st): Celebrate our Earth!

Week 6 (August 4th-8th): Feasts: Explore the Foods of Celebrations from Around the World!

Week 7 (August 11th-15th): Discovery: Celebrating Innovation and Imagination!

Week 8 (August 18th-22nd): Week 8, Celebrate: Celebrating Summer Fun and Outback Adventures!

Field trips

Each Thursday (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!

Outbackers may also have the opportunity to go to local Farmer’s Markets, the Cambridge Public Library, The Harvard Natural History Museum, the Harvard Yard Sprinklers, the War Memorial Pool and other destinations within walking distance of Outback. There are also several other field trips for different age groups throughout the summer.

Finalized 2014 Rates

•   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

•   Outback 8:30am-1pm/Maud Morgan Art Classes 1-5:30pm (Only available for children entering 5th and 6th grade)
Tuition: $495/week                                                                      

•    Families may sign up for individual weeks or for the full eight-week program.

Registration is online this year! To register, please visit our registration page to select weeks and schedule. 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, 2014. The 2014 Tuition and Refund Policy is available in the yellow downloads box above. 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.  Please download the application & guidelines. Scholarship applications are due by April 15th and awards will be finalized by May 15th,  2014. 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 complete an application, along with proof of a summer voucher (when available). 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.


Kindergarten (K) Outback Summer Program
Kindergarten students are part of the larger Outback Program but have a dedicated staff and age-appropriate activities. Students must be four years old by March 31st, 2014 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.

Choices, Choices, Choices!
Daily choices include creative movement, dance, drama, music, 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 take local field trips each week.

Field trips may include:
•    Thursday trips to different local beaches (with the exception of Week 1)
•    Porter Square Books
•    Harvard Yard sprinklers
•    The Harvard Farmer’s Market

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

Contact the Kindergarten Outback Summer Program
Questions? Contact Kim Baldasaro, Early Education Site-Director, at (617) 349-6287 x14 or kbaldasaro@agassiz.org.

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