Summer CUBS is a collaboration between the Worcester Area Mission Society, Clark University’s Adam Institute** and the Worcester Public Schools (WPS) / Woodland Academy that brings together current and future educators, WPS high school interns and adult and youth mentors from neighboring communities to offer interactive and individualized summer learning to elementary school students who attend Woodland Academy.

Woodland Academy is located in Main South, a low-income urban neighborhood that represents both a wide range of challenges and many possibilities.

Summer CUBS is a full day program (8-2) that runs concurrently with the already existing Worcester Public School half-day summer school program at Woodland.

Students are grouped by age and spend the day rotating between skill areas and activities that aim to reinforce and retain gains from the academic year.

Summer CUBS staff includes two current WPS educators, 3 stipended college interns who are interested in pursuing a teaching licence and 2 stipended youth interns from nearby University Park Campus School, all of whom work under the oversight of Program Director Dr. Holly Dolan, Associate Director of Practice in Education at Clark University and WAMS Vice President for Program, Mary Robbins. Adult and youth volunteer mentors (mostly from area UCC churches) provide important daily support to the program as does Woodland Academy Principal, Ms. Patty Padilla and Assistant Principal, Ms. Suzanna Resendes.


  1. 75% of students enrolled will maintain or increase their reading level as measured by The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), a standardized reading test.
  2. Students will engage in independent reading (or be read to) for 20-30 minutes daily.
  3. Feedback and guidance from Woodland Academy principal, Patty Padilla and Assistant Principal, Suzanna Resendes will indicate that this program continues to meet the community’s needs.
  4. Student attendance, daily interactions with parents at morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up and feedback from from children who have participated in the program over multiple summers will indicate that this program is having a positive impact.


Summer 2019 marked year 3 of the program. We have so far served on average, 40 students per summer. The most recently available quantitative data from students’ spring to fall reading level scores comes from year 2. We received scores for 36 of the 41 students. Of those 36, 29 students (81%) either stayed at the level where they were in the spring or went up 1, 2 or 3 levels (9 maintained, 14 went up 1 level, 4 went up 2 levels, and 2 went up 3 levels—55% increased). For the other 7 students (19%), 6 went down 1 level, 1 went down 2 levels.

How You Can Help

First and foremost, WAMS would like to thank the many congregations, foundations and individuals who along with WAMS, offer the financial contributions necessary to continue offering and expanding the Summer CUBS program. This includes the Adam Institute that now funds two of the three college interns and the Arline Rayner gift to WAMS that funds our high school intern.
In addition, we could not offer this program without the dedication and talent of the many adult and youth volunteer mentors who sign up each summer to support the Summer CUBS students and staff. For more information on becoming a volunteer mentor, please click here. You can also stay tuned for the upcoming WAMS quarterly newsletter and/or email Mary Robbins at mary@wamsworks.org.


  • CUBS is the acronym used at Woodland Academy
  • The Clark Adam Institute focuses on increasing equitable opportunity and outcomes. Policies include 1) partner schools that collaborate with the Adam Institute are located in Main South; 2) scholarships (undergrad and Master of Arts in Teaching/MAT) are directed toward neighborhood