The backbone of Fortress YDC, Fortress After-School serves 85 students in PreK-8th grade each day. We transport students to the Fortress building from neighboring schools (Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary, I.M. Terrell Elementary, and Morningside Middle), where they are fed an after-school snack to start the day. From there, students rotate through a variety of classes to keep them engaged and active.
Because low literacy is closely tied to delinquency, crime, high school dropout, and poverty, our main focus has always been on providing the best reading instruction possible to our students. In our state-of-the-art Math and Reading Labs, students receive personalized teaching through Creative Education Institute (CEI)'s Essential Learning System and Mathematic Learning System. On average, students in the labs gain 1.5 and 1.8 grade levels in reading and math skills, respectively.
Students also enjoy homework help, STAAR training, and academic enrichment each day. Staff and volunteers supplement school learning with exercises, games and hands-on instruction. Students struggling in a particularly subject receive one-on-one tutoring from volunteers.
In Bible Lab, students learn traditional biblical stories coupled with character-building activities, service projects, science experiments, and arts & crafts. These supplemental activities bring the Bible stories to life, so that they are no longer just very old words on a page, but relevant and meaningful to the lives of the students who hear them daily. Students are learning how to navigate the Bible, how to pray, how to be followers of Christ, but most importantly they are learning through each new story that God is real, alive, active, and has a plan for their lives.
In addition to regular class time, students get to participate in Reward Store, a biweekly opportunity for students to spend or save points they've earned through hard work and good behavior. Most students opt to save their points for big items like sports equipment, electronics, and even special outings with staff, which include trips to downtown Fort Worth, Chili's, the movies, FlightDeck, and a Ranger's game.
Students end each day with a hot dinner and free play time outside.
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