Committed to equity in education through the expansion of when, what and how students learn.

Summer CUBS is a collaboration between the Worcester Area Mission Society, Clark University’s Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice and the Worcester Public Schools (WPS) / Woodland Academy. CUBS takes its name from Woodland Academy’s motto that “Comprehension and Understanding Bring Success.” It is also a nod to Clark University’s Cougar mascot.

In addition to providing quality learning engagements for elementary school students, CUBS nurtures and supports future educators including local high school students exploring the idea of a career in education. Each summer incoming Clark MATs (Master of Arts in Teaching students) spend a week each at CUBS, tied to coursework. Two Clark undergraduates participate as paid interns prior to entering the MAT program. Several students from nearby high schools support the program as additional paid interns.

An Inclusive, Dynamic Environment

The CUBS curriculum focuses on high interest activities that offer learning and fun at the same time. In keeping with evidence-based practices relating social and emotional learning with academic learning and success in life, each aspect of the CUBS curriculum incorporates the reinforcement of positive approaches to play and learning. Each day, students rotate through academic blocks that connect to one another in terms of content and approach, helping
them learn skills relevant to the 21st-century, including innovation and cultural sensitivity.

Engaging Each and Every Student

Equity is achieved when all students receive the resources they need so they graduate prepared for success after high school. Resources can take many forms, from access to equipment that is engaging and timely, to instructors who understand how to highlight and maximize each student’s strengths and interests in order to promote learning and experiences that are meaningful and purposeful. Using the STEAM approach as its basis for offering highly individualized and student-centered learning, CUBS is committed to supporting students on their path to academic and life success.

Problem Solving, Creativity and Collaborative Learning

Whether developing plot diagrams to break down the narrative elements of a story, or wondering about the elements of water, each block, including Literacy, Math, Science and Art/ Exploration, serves as an opportunity for students to share thoughts, questions, ideas and solutions in ways that expand their knowledge and curiosity, maintain or increase their reading level throughout the summer, and create positive relationships with peers and mentors alike.

Student Success

Summer CUBS serves on average, 40 students per summer, 80% of whom increase their reading abilities based on testing that is conducted by the school prior to them leaving in June and following their return in August/ September. Students range in age from pre-K to entering 7th grade. Pre-K students participate in dedicated programming focused on school readiness while students entering 6th or 7th grade engage in an inquiry project and are also considered interns in training. Students entering kindergarten through 5th grade rotate through learning blocks that are modified for each age group.

How You Can Help

During the past few years many talented and dedicated youth and adults, primarily from UCC churches, have volunteered at Summer CUBS. In keeping with our intended model, we are excited to say that we are now at the point where kids who participated in the program when they were younger are coming back to assist as paid interns. This has reduced our dependence on volunteers while significantly increasing the community impact of the program.

That said, we can still use your support! We welcome financial donations toward supplies, snacks, etc. For more information please visit our Donate page.

Financial Support

In addition to funding from WAMS, Summer CUBS is supported by many congregations, foundations and individuals. Contributors include the Carpenter Foundation, the Adam Institute that funds the two Clark undergraduate interns, the Arline Rayner gift to WAMS, the Worcester Arts Council, Mass Cultural Council and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.