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Category Archives: B-READY 2013-2014

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3,000 Hours of Reading

unnamed-3Generations Incorporated is proud to announce that the students at B-READY completed over 3,000 hours of reading this school year! That means the average B-READY student completed an additional 30 hours of reading, outside of school, this year! This is incredible, not only because it fosters a love of reading among students, but also because research demonstrates that students who receive extra reading help make considerable gains in reading comprehension and phonics. In fact, a study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis on Generations Incorporated and their partner organization, Experience Corps, demonstrated that students who received reading instruction from a tutor made over 60% more progress in reading comprehension and phonics than students who did not receive tutoring. It is these skills that will continue to foster academic success for the students at B-Ready for years to come.Generations Incorporated is incredibly proud of the academic gains the B-Ready students have made this year, but it is the relationships built during the year, across generations, that truly makes Generations Incorporated’s work with B-Ready unique. Generations Incorporated’s partnership with B-READY provides students and tutors alike the opportunity to develop meaningful intergenerational relationships within their community. These relationships are also what allow for successful reading sessions. It is no small task to get 100 students to do 30 hours of reading after school, and without the strong bond between the tutor and child, it would be nearly impossible. Generations Incorporated would like to thank B-Ready for another wonderful year of reading! Special thanks to the B-Ready staff and families for your continued support!Posted by Caroline Shea, Program Capacity VISTA, Generations Incorporated


Resiliency and Rollerskating

It’s hard to believe that B-READY 2013-2014 has come to an end! Our days were filled with so many fun activities, conversations, and lessons that the year just flew by. Upon reflecting on my year, one word in particular sticks out to me: progress.

unnamed-1Day to day, one might miss changes, but upon looking back to the beginning of the year, it is incredible to see how much progress the students, as well as staff and volunteers, have made. First grade students that came in unable to read can now read books on their own with excitement. Third grade students are now masters of multiplication. Students who did not know each other at the beginning of the year are now great friends. Teens who were nervous in leadership roles now step up with confidence and enthusiasm. The list goes on and on…

It’s easy to avoid progress because with progress comes challenges. Learning new concepts is difficult. Making new friends can be scary. Being a leader is intimidating. However, I believe youth have a unique bravery when it comes to facing challenges; they jump into new experiences with hope and passion. This attitude is something I have taken so much inspiration from over the past year. Even when they fail, which is often inevitable when trying something new, they bounce back quickly and strongly. They are resilient. Youth seem to especially understand the quote that is written on the St. Stephen’s playground: “Without struggle there can be no progress.” To me, this quote sums up resiliency. With resiliency, one understands that struggle is going to happen. What matters is what we do with that struggle.

Now where rollerskating comes in… During the last week of B-READY we took a trip to Roller World. Before going on the trip, I was excited but also pretty nervous. I have never been particularly adventurous or particularly coordinated, a bad combination for rollerskating. I assumed that some of the youth might have the same attitude as me and be too scared to try rollerskating. However, once we got there everyone threw on their skates and darted for the rink. Even youth that had never roller-skated before were undaunted. I have never seen so many kids falling down. There were two first grade girls in particular who fell down one average once per minute. Again… I figured some youth might give up and sit down. However, not one student did so. Everyone laughed as soon as they fell down and got up immediately, ready to try again. It was resiliency at its finest. I was so inspired that I even threw a pair of shoes on a jumped in the rink. I did indeed fall a few times, but I simply laughed, along with many of youth who found it hilarious that their lead counselor didn’t know how to skate…

Rollerskating may not seem like a big deal, but I have seen the attitudes that the youth had in the face of struggle carry over to so many other aspects of life. I am so grateful for all of the incredible people I met this year at B-READY and the lessons I have learned from them. Now I can’t wait to see what B-SAFE has in store!

Posted by Jillian Poché, Academic Coordinator and Lead Counselor at St. Stephen’s

Celebrating a Year of Reading and Hard Work with Free Books!

unnamed-2Generations Incorporated strives to improve the literacy skills of young children through Grade 3. We also provide meaningful opportunities to older adults who serve as literacy volunteers in our partner schools and after school programs in the Greater Boston area. Through Generations Incorporated’s partnership with the B-Ready programs at St. Stephen’s and St. Augustine and Martin, 118 students have received free reading tutoring this school year from over 30 trained older adult literacy tutors. Not only does this allow students to receive individualized literacy instruction, but this partnership also provides older adults in the community the opportunity to stay active and give back to a younger generation>

Generations Incorporated is proud to announce that this school year alone the students at St. Stephen’s and St. Augustine and Martin have already completed nearly 4,0000 reading sessions! Every year, we celebrate the end of the reading program with book a give-away at St. Stephen’s and St. Augustine and Martin – celebrating the hard work of the students and volunteers alike. Our annual book give-away gives our volunteers the opportunity to recognize their students accomplishments and encourage reading throughout the summer. This year’s book give-away included donuts, Bingo, and of course, free books! Each volunteer selects three books for their student to receive based on their student’s reading level and interests. The volunteer then presents the books and a certificate of achievement to their student during the book give-away ceremony. By providing these new books to our students, we are giving them both the tools and the encouragement to read over the summer.

Summer reading is not only fun, but also important for preventing “summer slippage,” which is described as the loss of academic skill-sets
unnamed-1acquired over the previous school year. Summer slippage often occurs if students are not provided with enriching opportunities such reading, writing or math over the summer. Generations Incorporated hopes that the book give-away will provide a fun and enriching way for the students of B-Ready to continue on the path to academic success! If you would like to know more about our programs, visit our website at by Caroline Shea, Program Capacity VISTA, Generations Incorporated


Planning for an Intentional Summer

unnamedThe A-Team is very excited about B-SAFE 2014!  Our theme this summer is inspired by the great Nelson Mandela, “It is in your hands to make a better world”.  We are working hard on building a curriculum inspired by this summer’s theme.  We are planning to highlight the leadership of different people around the world, including Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, Achebe, Maya Angelou, Julia Alvarez, and the Mirabal sisters.  Our goal is to enhance our students knowledge of their heritage and to foster a strong sense of pride.  We are working hard on preparing fun Specialty Days while giving our young people opportunity to learn and grow.  We are also looking forward to another summer partnering with Harvard Medical School to deliver a great science curriculum to our middle schoolers.  Overall, the A-Team cannot wait to start the 15th summer of B-SAFE!!!

Posted by Mayra Sanders Middle School Program Coordinator

Teacher Meeting Updates

unnamed-4Though only a slight insight into the day to day life of a teacher, through my meetings with the teachers of our students I have developed even more of an immense respect and appreciation for teacher. The teacher meetings not only helped me with the B-READY school year, but helped me see where the gaps in our current education system exist. These meetings have given me the opportunity to plan lessons that will not only help students perform better in the classroom but also have fun while doing it. It’s also useful to be able to keep a watchful eye over the parts of the student’s homework where they need the most help. This is just another part of the B-READY program I have been thoroughly impressed by!

Posted by Lauren Gibb Lead Counselor at St. Augustine and St. Martin 

Service Day Success!

Friday’s B-READY Service Day was so awesome! The middle schoolers from the YLC were divided up among the elementary students, so that there was one YLCer leading 3 or 4 of elementary schoolers. The YLCers did a great job leading; it was clear they enjoyed the responsibility. Everyone were super into cleaning up the parks and neighborhood. As one child said while finding and picking up litter, “It’s like Easter except with trash!” We may even consider having a service day twice a year!

Posted by Jillian Poche, Academic Coordinator St. Stephen’s LEARN


You’ve Got a Friend in Me

unnamed-2One of the favorite parts of my year at St. Stephen’s has been working with the volunteers from Boston College through a program called PULSE. They join us twice a week to serve as mentors and tutors to our students, as well as assist with almost everything else that happens here, including snack, chores, and tutoring.

A very cool component of their volunteering experience is that they work with the same group of students all year. It goes without saying that this allows them to form special relationships with the students in their group. The students can rely on them to be at St. Stephen’s twice a week to help them with homework, mentor them on any issues or concerns they have, and just have fun and celebrate accomplishments with. It’s really nice to see the students share pieces of their lives with the Pulsers. For instance, one of the 3rd grade boys invited one of the Pulsers to his baseball game in the South End!
A few of the most exciting moments have been seeing the Pulsers lead rotations with the students. Nicole was the first to lead an Imagination Stations, in which the students made paper mache masks and shapes! Currently, Sean is leading one in which the students are learning about Rock-n-roll music. Lastly, Andrew led a rotation during College and Career Friday in which the students created their own universities!

We are going to be extremely sad to see the Pulsers leave at the end of April. It’s hard to imagine how program will run without them. We are so, so grateful for all of their efforts and enthusiasm this year. They certainly played a huge part in making everyone at St. Stephen’s feel safe, feel big, and feel connected!

Posted by Jillian Poche, Academic Coordinator and Lead Counselor at St. Stephen’s