PEARL CITY C.A.T.S
AFTER-SCHOOL & SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM
The mission of the Pearl City C.A.T.S. Program is to shape a safe environment in which all of our students become life long learners who master essential skills, develop self learning skills and pursue character qualities which will enable them to be honest, responsible, respectful and dedicated students. By utilizing a team approach and holding high expectations, our staff works as a community to assist our students to monitor their progress as they reach the goal of achieving their potential according to their own unique strengths.
The Program provides opportunities for elementary school-age children to develop interests, skills and knowledge in academic learning and cultural awareness, to enhance their self-esteem and enable them to learn, work, grow, and play well with their peers. We seek to enable the children to form nurturing and trusting relationships with adults. The program is designed to provide affordable, quality childcare to low-income families. The name we have chosen for our program Children Achieving Their Success represents all the ideals and goals we set before the children and ourselves. The program has operated at the Lois Martin Center at Dixie Manor since 1992.
The children attending our program are considered “at-risk” youth. They are more susceptible to failing grades, dropping out of school, juvenile pregnancies, and alcohol and drug dependencies than middle class children. They come from low to extremely low-income families; the adult in the family is usually a single parent or grandparent responsible for several children. We seek to break the cycle of dependency in which these children often live. We provide a low ratio of adult to child interaction to provide a support network for a needy child. We would like to insure that the children in our program graduate on par with their middle class peers.
The Pearl City C.A.T.S. Program is owned and operated by the Boca Raton Housing Authority. The program operates out of the Lois Martin Community Center. The hours of operation during the school year are 2:00pm to 6:00pm Monday thru Friday with occasional Saturday events. Summer camp & out-of- School days’ hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm.
There are 63 elementary students, ages 5 to 12, enrolled in the Pearl City C.A.T.S. Program all of whom participate in many different educational and recreational activities. Because of the non-profit nature of our program we are constantly seeking new partners who are willing to provide financial assistance allowing us to secure programs, personnel and supplies for the children, or we work with other non-profit organizations who will deliver the product and programs themselves directly to the children. Very often we find that we have been able to secure some fundamental source for a program, but we are responsible for many incidentals that bringing the program to our children requires. For example, the Ballet Program is a teaching program and their grant was even able to fund transportation costs, but we purchased the ballet tutus and shoes for the children. Computers are happily donated and gratefully accepted, but funds must be there to pay for tutors, printers, cartridges, paper and computer.
PEARL CITY CATS
- City of Boca Raton
- Schmidt Family Foundation
- Rayman Trust
- Boca Ballet Theatre
- Fifth Third Bank
- Junior League of Boca Raton
- Marvin & Betty Zale Foundation
- Spirit of Giving
- Children’s Service Counsel of Palm Beach County
- Family Central of Palm Beach County
- Prime Time of Palm Beach County
- Boca Helping Hands
- Boca Raton Hospital
- Center for Creative Education
- Florida Atlantic University
- Florida Marlins
- Giving Tree
- University of Miami
- PNC Bank
And a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the wonderful volunteers who contribute so much to the C.A.T.S. program!
We seek to keep our program diversified as many of our children stay with us for their entire elementary school experience. We seek to offer the children as many possible varied activities as we can find. One of our goals is to expose the children to experiences, activities and life-styles, which they might not ever have the opportunity to come to on their own.
We attempt to capture any interest a child might express and find a positive outlet that is new and creative. Many of our children are immersed in activities that they would never have dreamed of participating in. We do not ask or require them to excel, but only that they participate, they try and they enjoy. All of our children are part of the greater success story of children happily expanding their worlds.
The first activity of the after school day, after stoking the children’s engines with fuel (snacks), is homework and tutoring. The Pearl City C.A.T.S. Program staff is trained to review the children’s homework and guide them through any particular difficulties. One staff member, the Education Coordinator meets several times a week with the children’s teachers to assess their needs and to determine what specific help can be offered at the after-school program. We have many volunteers from the local college who provide one on one Tutoring to the children. In addition we have professional teachers who are paid to tutor the children in specific areas. Computer guidance is also part of this program to insure that all of the children receive the appropriate support for their particular needs.
One of the goals of the Pearl City C.A.T.S. Program is to provide each student with the tools to succeed and graduate or be promoted on par with their peers in school. The program’s Education Coordinator has established a working relationship with the Boca Raton elementary school teachers and parents who enable us to receive copies of each student’s progress reports and report cards. Each student’s grades are tracked during each marking period for all subjects, and areas which need may need improvement are identified. Comparisons are made from one marking period to another to ensure that the individualized tutorial program established for each child is working successfully.
Another facet of the Education Coordinator’s position includes the recruitment, screening and selection of volunteers who will work with the children. The screening procedure is rigorous, however, we now have several volunteers regularly working with the children.
The Boca Ballet Theatre Community Outreach Program sponsors 1st Step Ballet classes. Ballet classes are Tuesday and Thursday of every week. Participants who finish the 1st Step program successfully are scholarshipped into the mainstream ballet classes. Our participants are male and female and all of the children participate in an end of the year recital. This is one of our most successful and longest running programs. The children and the community enjoy participating in this program. We always have a huge response to this program.
The C.A.T.S Program offers the SPLASH program. This is a swimming and water safety program especially enjoyed on hot summer days. This program is held by and at the Boca Raton YMCA every Monday of the week. The children also swim at a pool at one of the Housing Authority owned properties. The YMCA instructors teach at this pool as well. But as part of our non-profit consortium the YMCA brings other groups to our pool in the summer months.
The FACES program is multicultural program, which celebrates Florida’s heritage. Faces program is designed to give children hands on activities and exhibits that explore the diversity of cultures, which have shaped South Florida. The FACES program was developed and advocated by the Children’s Museum of the Palm Beaches and the Junior League of Boca Raton. The program is held Monday or Thursday of each week and all of our children participate in this program.
The Milagro Center offers the children an art enrichment program every week. The Center provides our program with an art teacher who works with the children offering her skills and bringing supplies for children as well. The children are exposed to new forms of expression and encouraged to try the new world of pottery and sculpture, as well as the more traditional forms of expression with which they are already familiar.
Boca Raton Community Hospital’s Outreach Program sponsors a Health and Wellness Program for the children. A Nurse visits weekly to teach the children about healthy living, good nutrition and offers cooking tips that the children can bring home to their families.
The Boca Raton Library offers the children a weekly Reading Program. This has been an exciting on-going adventure which the children look forward to each week.
New Age Yoga and Meditation is a weekly program. One of our volunteers thought she would like to use her teaching skills to encourage the children to try Yoga and Meditation. This is designed to enrich the participants at every level. Participation was initially reluctant, but as time has progressed the children found a new experience, which they have embraced. The teachers meet with the children every Thursday and participation has grown so quickly that the class time has been reduced to enable all the children to participate.
FCAT practice is one of the many school-oriented programs. We have tutors who work with the children in our computer lab. They coach the children who access the Internet FCAT tutoring. The children are provided with FCAT workbooks and flash cards. Grant dollars can be used to provide additional tutors and supplies for this program.
The City of Boca Raton has offered our children free time and lessons on their Tennis Courts. Sixteen children participate weekly in this program. They love the tennis and we hope to see the program grow.
The Center for Creative Education (CCE) provides integrated arts and academic programming for the CATS program. CCE offers a staff of approximately 50 artists in all arts areas and a variety of programs to suit the CATS program educational needs. In an effort to give Palm Beach County’s youth access to wide range of cultural and educational activities Prime Time of Palm Beach County partnered with the Center for Creative Education to offer program enhancements at no cost to after-school providers who might otherwise be unable to offer such experiences on their own. These activities include short term and long-term programming in Arts and Culture, Sports and Recreation, Health and Nutrition, Academics and Career Exploration.
One of the most innovative educational programs in Palm Beach County is the CHAMPS program. The children participate in this program one hour a day Monday through Thursday. The CHAMPS program is a new approach to learning geared to children participating in after-school programs. The educational aspects are designed to improve the academic performance of students by allowing the teaching experience to encompass many aspects of a subject. The CHAMPS curriculum was developed by FOUNDATIONS, Inc. and delivers that curriculum through existing after-school programs in Palm Beach County in conjunction with Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach.
The C.A.T.S. program also has Friday field trips to local parks, museums, nature centers, beaches, theatre performances and amusement vendors. All of these additional programs are dependent upon the funds we raise through various sponsors and donors.
Donations to our program will help us to fulfill our mission to enhance the lives of children who look to us to start them on a road to a successful and independent adulthood.