As of 10/3/2022 – With exciting new funding available within WCPS from the MSDE concentration of poverty grant through the Kirwan legislation, BOOST afterschool enrichment and related efforts such as the Walking School Bus starting this Fall will shift to the oversight of the Bester Elementary School team. As they finalize their plans, we would encourage all past BOOST and WSB members to reach out to the school directly to take advantage of extended learning opportunities afterschool once finalized. We are immensely proud of the afterschool program that started eight years ago from an expressed community need for safe places for social connection and fun afterschool. As we pass the baton on these efforts and shift our energy to other key gaps for families in the South End needing our support, we have tremendous pride in what has been accomplished, especially in times of great adversity. We know that they will remain part of the BCOH family, but we’d like to give a special thank you and acknowledgement to our four amazing staff members who have been idolized by kids and parents alike at BOOST. Amanda, LeeAnn, Alexis and Jerry: Job well done!
BOOST: BESTER OUT OF SCHOOL TIME
Starting in 2015, BCOH began a formal collaboration with Washington County Public Schools, Bester Community of Hope (BCOH) will be providing a health and wellness centered afterschool program to promote student social and emotional development through fun and engaging experiences. BCOH partners with Bester Elementary and other community partners to bridge community and school relationships as well as strengthen the natural resources within the local community. BOOST will assist students in making positive connections with safe & healthy adults while nurturing students social and emotional development and overall well-being.
WALKING SCHOOL BUS
help students be ready to learn
promote safe pedestrian behaviors
strengthen community connections
facilitate wellness through physical activity
“BE WELL” HEALTH INITIATIVE
Bester Community of Hope previously established a school-based health center at Bester Elementary School in 2016 through a grant with The Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The center’s overall goal was to reduce barriers to health care by partnering the Community Free Clinic to provide free medical care and health education to children and their families in the community. As systemic barriers to accessing medical care were addressed and to continue to meet the needs of students and families, the project transitioned its efforts to focus on health promotional activities during the school day and in our BOOST after school program. All activities and resources have been provided at no cost to students. In the final year of this grant through 2023, our focus will be sustainable fitness solutions that can bridge the gap between school based health and neighborhood health for families.
- Lu Interactive Technology transforming physical fitness
- Designed, produced, and mass distributed hand sanitizer to residents, stakeholders, schools, and houses of faith
- Health education sessions provided to all classrooms at Bester Elementary
- Bester Wellness Bags- a bag of supplies including soup, crackers, ginger ale, tissues, education, etc. is sent home with students who leave school ill
- Specialized health education sessions facilitated by content experts for parents and caregivers
- Wellness boxes containing produce, Fitbit’s, masks, and education delivered to students homes during the Covid-19 pandemic