Recent funding support from generous donors, the Georgia Department of Education, and the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network enabled Safe Harbor Center to develop an in-depth learning enrichment program. Designed to build educational opportunities during “out-of-school” time, program teacher, Terri Hill, and program facilitators created a comprehensive program that builds educational opportunities through individual and project-based learning, offering academic support, and teaching the children skills to ease into the transition of a new school year.

“Our projects covered everything from art, gardening, geography and Georgia history,” explained Ms. Hill. “The program specifically helps children in grades seven through college to further to catch up on their education. I had the time to assess their learning gaps, needs and figure out ways to best serve each student moving forward.”

A common trend Ms. Hill recognized among her students was a lack of knowledge of United States Geography. “Would one of our students have been able to find their way into the next state without a GPS? The answer was a resounding NO. Helping them understand there is a big world outside of Brunswick, Georgia has helped our students realize they are not limited to just this environment.”

Ms. Hill worked alongside Ms. Flower and Ms. Pickney from the Safe Harbor Street Beat Program, a outreach program designed to increase the safety and well-being of homeless youth, to teach what they creatively named, “The Nifty Fifty United States.” “We were able to foster non-fiction reading skills, math, and science. Students were encouraged to use a higher level of thinking to analyze and process information through learning geography.”

Using hands-on manipulatives, creative games, art, teamwork, and weekly rounds of “Geography Jeopardy,” students thrived during the learning process. “They were able to identify differences in economics, landscapes, cultures, and environments across the United States. Many of the students asked if the program could go on even longer.”

Safe Harbor Center and their staff look forward to continuing their learning enrichment programs through the school year, and into the summer of 2023. The support from our generous donors and local community partners and municipalities helps ensure that the children Safe Harbor Center serves are better equipped for future success through education and enrichment opportunities.