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Site Spotlight! | Science Leadership Academy Middle School

Hands-on learning, Project Based Learning and More!


On September 8, Sunrise Staff officially welcomed students to our in-person Afterschool program at Science Leadership Academy Middle School! After more than a year and half of virtual programs, Sunrise programs are back and better than ever, providing opportunities for students to engage, grow, and develop for the future. Take a moment and read about all the new things parents and students can expect at SLAMS, and across all of our program sites at Sunrise this year!



New Staff

SLAMS has a new site director this year! Mercedes Kennedy is a long time OSTprofessional with more than a decade of experience working in and around early childhood development and middle school youth. Marcedes will oversee a team of close to a dozen afterschool group leaders and mentors! Get in touch and say hello.

Hands-on STEM Learning

Sunrise is committed to STEM! We are excited to bring back hands-on sessions focused on the fun side of science and tech. Students across Sunrise program sites can expect to take part in engaging activity blocks led by staff and community partners ranging from engineering challenges and building contests, live biology + chemistry experiments, and rudimentary video game coding and design projects!

Social Emotional Learning Sessions & Real Talk Social emotional learning is at the core of Sunrise’s youth development curriculum. Across our sites this year, we will be encouraging students to explore the world around them through peer lead discussion and critical thinking exercises. Weekly Real Talk sessions will be built into programming schedules to provide opportunities for honest conversation and reflection regarding current events, youth issues, and social justice.


Project Based Learning Opportunities

Project Based Learning is a teaching method that encourages students to utilize skills they have learned in the classroom to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem or challenge. Over the course of the year, students at all Sunrise sites will be encouraged to work on projects that engage them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question and creating a public product or culminating event presentation for an audience. SLAMS students already engage in Project Based Learning instead of homework as part of their school day curriculum and will have the chance to deepen this approach to learning with Sunrise. Stay tuned!


Arts and Culture

Sunrise loves the Arts! Each day, students will have the opportunity to participate in some form of arts and culture exploration. This may be a staff-led arts and craft project, a music lesson, a virtual field trip to a museum or cultural site, a research project, or an experience led by one of our community partner organizations.

Outdoor Activities + Recreation

After a long day of classroom learning we encourage our students to get active and get moving through supervised recreation and free play time! Students can expect to spend time daily, participating in fun team games, sports, free play, and recreation time.


What’s Been Going on at SLAMS During Weeks 1 + 2?


During the first week of programming, SLAMS students got to know one another and Sunrise Staff through ice breaker games and art activities. Students discussed their favorite activities and foods while making construction paper collage burgers! Students also worked with one another and SLAMS Sunrise mentors, Ms. Sheena, Ms. Margie, and Ms. Rachel to discuss career exploration during their enrichment session on Thursday.


In our project based learning modules this week, students explored financial literacy and discussed short-term and long-term savings. Students created savings charts which asked students to think about their long-term savings goals and objectives. Friday’s programming ended with outdoor play in the SLAM’s jungle gym and a student-organized game of basketball!


Stay tuned on our social media for all the exciting activities taking place at SLAMS and across our learning sites this year!



Sunrise is celebrating our third year in partnership with SLAMS! We’d like to thank our partners at Drexel University, the Lenfest Foundation and the West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood for their continued support and commitment to our communities’ youth!




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