Appendix: South Shore Stars, Inc. Programs

A list of programs provided by South Shore Stars, Inc.

Table of Contents

Overview

The following descriptions of programs are quoted or paraphrased from the South Shore Stars, Inc. (Stars) website.

Early Head Start

Stars provides the following services to applicants who are pregnant or have a child under three years old:

  • Playgroups
  • Parent Workshops
  • English Classes
  • Child Development Screening

Stars also helps enrollees find the following:

  • Prenatal and postpartum care
  • Health and nutrition services
  • Family Child Care (sliding fee)
  • Job training
  • [General Educational Development certification] classes
  • Health insurance

Applicants must be residents of Avon, Brockton, Holden, Randolph, or Stoughton. Services are free for income-eligible applicants.

Family Childcare (Birth–3 years old)

At Stars we believe infant and toddler care is best provided in a warm, nurturing home-like environment. Since 1975 Stars has operated a community Family Child Care (FCC) system of up to 25 licensed providers located across [six] South Shore communities. Each home provides a unique setting that combines the security of a home environment with the structure and careful planning that are hallmarks of a typical educational setting.

Our FCC homes are especially designed to meet the needs of infants, toddlers and young preschoolers and use the research-based Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care, providing a developmentally appropriate structure for planning and implementing a program that emphasizes individualized learning, safe and healthy environments, partnerships with families, learning through play, and interactions with the environment.

All of Stars’ Family Child Care homes are supported by an early childhood specialist, who visits each home several times a month, and acts as a resource and support to both parents and providers, helping them to meet each child’s individual needs.

Our FCC homes are open a minimum of 10 hours/day, year-round, Monday through Friday. Stars Family Child Care homes are located in Braintree, Brockton, Holbrook, Quincy, Randolph and Weymouth.

Preschool (2years, 9 months –5 years old)

Our three nationally accredited (National Association for the Education of Young Children) preschool centers, located in Quincy, Randolph and Weymouth, offer children (ages 2 years nine months through age 5) the opportunity to learn and make friends in a supportive educational environment. Each center is small and specifically designed for preschool children. Using the High Scope “plan, do, review” approach, teachers plan child-centered activities that are fun and spark exploration, creativity, and the mastery of new skills.

We also use the High Scope [Child] Observation Record (COR), which is a research-based tool, to enable teachers to assess each child’s developmental growth, strengths, and needs. Teachers use this information to develop and modify teaching strategies and curriculum for individual children, small groups of children, and their entire classroom. Teachers partner with parents to develop individual plans for each child and bi-weekly reports are sent home. Additionally, we provide ongoing assessment and quarterly progress reports to families.

Supports integral to the high-quality early education which we provide include:

  • A Preschool Program Director, who provides ongoing staff training.
  • A Social Worker, who assists staff and parents with behavior management, coping with family stress and finding needed resources.
  • A Registered Nurse, who provides consultation and information on health issues.

Program Highlights

  • Each classroom’s teaching team of three is led by an experienced lead teacher with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Early Education.
  • Each Center has at least one small classroom (15 or fewer children).
  • Classrooms are well-equipped with materials focused on language, literacy, math and science.
  • Our RISE Program (Reading is So Exciting): Each classroom has a lending library of books and literacy materials for families to borrow, and each site offers four RISE family events each year.
  • Each Center has a playground offering numerous gross motor opportunities.

In Addition

  • Breakfast, morning and afternoon snacks provided (children bring their lunch).
  • One teacher for every eight children.
  • Care is available Monday–Friday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
  • Sliding fee available, based on family size and income.

Elementary Afterschool (Kindergarten–Grade 6)

In our school age centers, located in Quincy, Randolph and Weymouth, children are encouraged to grow in self-reliance and self-expression as they enjoy many activities including athletics, arts, games, drama, cooking and field trips. We aim to excite children about reading and writing by integrating literacy activities into each center’s daily schedule. Throughout the year there are many special offerings including drumming, digital media and robotics. Staff work with parents to develop an individual homework plan, and homework time is a part of each day’s schedule.

Our program structure builds on the interests and needs of students and includes:

  • Social Time
  • Homework support
  • Safe and supportive social/emotional environment
  • Opportunities for leadership
  • System of accountability that provides support and recognition
  • One staff member for every ten children
  • Transportation provided from your child’s school to the Center
  • Afternoon snack provided
  • Sliding fee available, based on family size and income

The strength of our school age program is the strong positive relationships staff develop with children. We support our children to express their feelings and resolve disputes while developing problem solving skills and empathy. By building a strong sense of community, our children feel supported by staff and their peers.

Middle and High School (Grades 7–12)

Stars has three programs coordinated with Randolph Public School and primarily funded by a MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. With a goal of improving students’ school achievement, we innovatively integrate academic support with art activities and sports at JFK Elementary and Randolph Community Middle School (RCMS) in Randolph. The Randolph High School (RHS) Stars program, including Youth in Motion (YIM) incorporates a community service learning model to promote social growth, civic responsibility, self-esteem and leadership skills.

Our RCMS, JFK and RHS Stars programs:

  • Focus on developing strong, caring, supportive adult/youth relationships
  • Emphasize healthy social/emotional development
  • Integrate school curriculum and MA Frameworks into activities
  • Promote student participation in planning, action and reflection
  • Involve students in determining program structure, goals and activities
  • Create strong linkages between students’ school day and out-of-school time
  • Use a culturally responsive approach

Program Overview

  • In 2016, RHS Stars received the highest level rating—“demonstration site” status—as a U.S. Dept. of Education 21st Century Community Learning Center
  • In 2018, JFK Stars received “promising site” status
  • Three, 11 week cycles operate 4 days per week (Monday–Thursday)
  • Hours 3:15–6:15 PM
  • 3:15–4:15 Homework Hour
  • 4:15–5:15 Project-based Math Clubs
  • 5:15–6:15 Enrichment Activities

Stars Clubs

Robotics, Digital Media Arts, Double Dutch Science, Drama, “Girlfriends” Group, Fantasy Baseball/Statistics, Martial Arts, Dance

Summer Stars

During our six-week Summer Stars program, students entering 7th through 9th grade participate in a hands-on math/science/language arts curriculum in the mornings and spend afternoons in supervised outdoor recreation and team building activities including rock-climbing, orienteering, hiking and environmental awareness projects.

Summer Camp

Stars South Shore Day Camp offers children a full-day program with a wide variety of activity choices. Stars is pleased to operate its summer program at Hale, an independent, historic nonprofit in Westwood and Dover.

In addition to exposure to nature and the outdoors, South Shore Day Camp offers traditional activities like Red Cross swimming instruction, archery, martial arts, dance, a ropes course, arts and crafts, boating, music and drama, summer reading clubs, engineering/robotics, games, athletics and other [science, technology, engineering and math], math and reading activities aimed at reducing summer learning loss.

Stars South Shore Day Camp is especially accessible and affordable for working parents. The camp provides breakfast and transportation to and from the site in passenger vans and school buses with stops in Quincy, Weymouth and Randolph (additional 11:30 AM bus from Randolph for Summer School students). A professional, experienced staff and on-site directors carefully plan age appropriate activities for elementary-aged children.

Family Support

Our Family Support Program has the following components:

Family Involvement

Daily contact with parents builds trusting relationships.

Teachers meet with new parents within six weeks of enrollment, and then every six months to review children’s progress and develop goals together.

Annual questionnaires solicit feedback from parents.

Our centers host a variety of family events including breakfasts, exhibitions and performances.

Resources/Referrals

Our social workers become familiar with all of our children as a result of their regular visits to each center and family child care homes, providing staff and parents with effective strategies for helping children with difficult behavior and developmental concerns.

When needed, social workers help families access counseling and mental health services.

Our Family Partner is an advocate for our families and helps identify and access community services.

Parent Education

We have a structured “teaming process,” facilitated by our social workers, involving program staff and parents in the creation and review of individual plans with clear outcomes, activities and time frames.

Our ongoing communication promotes positive parenting practices and strategies for school success.

Our literacy initiative, Reading Is So Exciting (RISE) hosts multiple family events each year to inform parents about strategies that promote literacy. Our innovative home/school literacy activity kits called HomeLINKS support classroom learning with at-home activities designed to engage parents in their child’s early literacy skill development.

One of our social workers facilitates a series of grandparent/kinship workshops that focus on building support networks for those raising a child.

Date published: June 30, 2020
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