THINK Together's mission is to provide high-quality, academically-oriented out-of-school programs for students regardless of race, creed, or socioeconomic status. Since its inception in 1994, THINK (Teaching, Helping, Inspiring and Nurturing Kids) Together has been committed to improving academic outcomes for children and youth living in under-resourced communities.
Our programs began in response to a plea from a neighborhood in West Costa Mesa to provide a safe place for children to do their homework after school. From those humble beginnings, our organization has grown into one of the nation's largest non-profit providers of extended learning time programs, serving more than 100,000 youth at over 400 locations in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties, in partnership with a wide variety of public and private agencies, including over 30 school districts. In addition to our core after school program, THINK Together offers summer learning opportunities, small group tutoring, early learning programs, and school-age child care.
If you would like to learn more about us, please visit our web site at www.thinktogether.org/about/
Elementary Extended Learning Curriculum Academics
- Homework assistance is provided for students individually or in small groups to help them understand and complete daily assignments. THINK Together staff and trained volunteers focus on inquiry to foster the child's ability to work independently and understand concepts as well as find the correct answer.
- Language Skills are intentionally promoted through fluency-building strategies that include the repeated reading of leveled passages, sight words, phrases, and affixes. Reciprocal Teaching strategies (predicting, clarifying, questioning, and summarizing/retelling) are utilized to promote comprehension and vocabulary development.
- Academic Achievement for English Learners is supported through the implementation of Robert J. Marzano's academic vocabulary development strategies which are specifically targeted to scaffold vocabulary development in English Learners. We also utilize sentence frames that promote the understanding of syntax and the appropriate use of newly acquired vocabulary. Finally, we build background knowledge by front-loading academic vocabulary and content through experiential learning and by tapping into the child's prior knowledge.
- Mathematics is supported by Math Blast which builds mathematical skills and fluency in identified math strands, such as number sense, measurement, geometry, probability and statistics. Algebra and functions are incorporated into games, simulations and explorations. Problem-solving strategies are used to unlock word problems and math vocabulary building activities are also embedded in the curriculum.
- STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics): Education centers on developing content, understanding and exploration. We support the application of the scientific method in which youth explore questions of interest, predict what they think will result from the experiment, conduct the experiment and determine what was learned in the process.
- Enrichment: Enrichment activities may include visual and performing arts like music, dance, drama, and art activities. THINK Together is committed to releasing the potential in each student. As one child remarked, "Before this, I didn't know I was a dancer." We offer regular opportunities for parents to celebrate their children's accomplishments through organized family nights.
- Healthy Living: Healthy Living is promoted through a four-pronged approach that includes: the Coordinated Approach to Children's Health (CATCH) curriculum which promotes physical activity; nutrition education that includes Harvest of the Month, Dairy Council, and federal nutrition lessons; development of conflict resolution strategies through People Smart and Character Education that aligns which school day programs or centers on key character traits such as respect and responsibility.
THINK Together Values
- Be accountable to our mission
- Service above self
- Treat others with dignity and respect
- Open and honest communication
- Collaborate internally and externally
- Honor commitments
- Embrace diversity
- Be humble
- Enjoy the journey and have fun!
- Continuous learning
If you would like to volunteer for THINK Together, please register at www.thinktogether.org/volunteer/