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. Two 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 is now entering its 5th year, having served on average, 40 students per summer, 80% of whom have increased 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. As we look forward to the resumption of in person classes, WAMS is committing to expanding the size and reach of the program to include more staff and up to 60 students, including dedicated programming for students having just completed the 4th or 5th grade.

How You Can Help

During the past few years many talented and dedicated youth and adults, primarily from UCC churches, have spent countless hours as mentors at Summer CUBS. Some might argue that Woodland students benefit most from volunteers and mentors who come from their neighborhood. Others…. that the community bridging of mentors with different life experiences is equally impacting. That is why, between interns and volunteers, we try to offer both. Due to ongoing Covid-19 related restrictions we will not be welcoming volunteer mentors into the program during Summer 2021. But we look forward to regaining this important component as soon as we can. In the meantime, we welcome financial donations toward supplies, snacks, etc. via check or the paypal donate button available on this website.

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 that funds our high school interns, the Worcester Arts Council and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.