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How BeHASSTic and Carver Foundation Partnered to Provide Equitable Education Opportunities

In the summer of 2021, BeHASSTic began its partnership with the Carver Foundation. Carver’s mission is to equip all learners for global competitiveness by leading strategic partnerships with schools and communities that advance excellence and growth opportunities. Their mission aligned perfectly with our mission, and we reached out to them to see how we could collaborate.

The Carver Foundation runs before-school, after-school, and summer programs in all the Norwalk Public Schools and a few other surrounding schools, and after discussing, we agreed to run the arts side of their program at the Carver Community Center and Kendall Elementary School for six weeks.

In our first summer, the BeHASSTic team dedicated countless hours and meetings to preparing our lessons for Carver’s students. Many of our volunteers were excited, but also nervous. Nevertheless, with each passing day, they grew more confident and more understanding of how to keep their students motivated and excited to learn. One of our volunteers, Tishan Wu, said, “At first, I was super nervous to teach little kids. I didn’t know if they would listen to me or if they would enjoy the lessons. But they were super curious and enthusiastic about everything and they made me laugh a lot with their funny comments. This made me feel more confident and over the course of the summer, I felt like I grew a lot as a teacher and person.”

In total, over those first six weeks, the BeHASSTic team taught over 100 students at the Carver Community Center and Kendall Elementary School, leading different activities every day. These activities included learning basic music theory, creating arts and crafts projects, and playing games like musical chairs with the students.

At the end of those six weeks, the Carver Center told us that the feedback they had gotten was overwhelmingly positive and the students had a great time being exposed to different topics, learning new skills, and competing for the small prizes we brought in for them every day. We agreed to extend our partnership with Carver into the school year and to expand our programs to include not just the arts, but also humanities, social sciences, and technology classes.

Since then, BeHASSTic has established a committed team of fifteen volunteers from eight high schools that provide weekly programs to Carver students all year-round. Our volunteers teach everything from writing Chinese characters to coding using Python and JavaScript.

We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Carver Foundation and look forward to continuing our work together in the future. Together, we are making HASST education more accessible for those who otherwise might not have the opportunity to explore these subjects. If you want to learn more about our partnership with the Carver Foundation, please visit our Social Impact page.


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