Learning begins with engagement and is fueled by curiosity

Figure 1 Boston Schools Fund Impact Report, 2021
The pandemic exacerbated the percentage of students in Boston Public Schools who are chronically absent from 25% in 2019 to just over 40% in 2022 (See Chart -Boston Schools Fund Impact Report, 2021). This is a dis-engagement crisis.

At Apprentice Learning, we introduce Apprentice Learning to eighth grade students by asking one question: “Who would like a paying summer job?” Consistently, a sea of hands go up. Nearly every student would say “I do.” That’s engagement. It’s the first step in learning. Over the next six weeks, we present skills that help a young person succeed in getting a paying summer job. We offer apprenticeships in a variety of workplaces. that offer authenticity. Young people understand the authentic and personal value of our programs. Their curiosity lights up and they are ready to show up.

Last year, our programs provided (151) eighth and (73) ninth graders with career skills and modified (due to the pandemic) work experiences. Overall attendance was 86%.

Our program engagement strategies are supported by all members of our community – schools, business partners and families. Together, we can

• Build students’ social connections and opportunities for teamwork and authentic connections to friends, and to the adult world of work.

• Demonstrate to young people that they are a valuable investment. We take their dreams and plans seriously. And offer real world learning experiences that play to their strengths, skills, and interests.

We want to connect youth to their passions and purpose, which is, after all, the spark that will help them activate a pathway to the future. Our apprenticeship program is an integral part of the school day—and a valuable way to engage young people in both learning beyond the classroom and linking career success with academic achievement.

Executive Director of Apprentice Learning
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