Recognizing the importance of a quality education as a way to improve lives, Hyde Square Task Force has helped to create multiple innovative partnerships with Boston Public Schools as a means to better engage students. We have designed and implemented student-centered curricula that encourage positive engagement through civic participation and a culturally relevant arts class through Afro-Latin dance. From in-school classroom instruction, to project-based academic enrichment programs in the summer, to working with BPS officials to create solutions aimed at eliminating barriers to student achievement, Hyde Square Task Force has taken the lead in making sure that students are at the center of public education.
Every day, Hyde Square Task Force works to fulfill the immediate needs of the community by making resources available to youth and their families, as well as to our community partners. We deliver high-quality arts, cultural, and educational programs from our Youth Community Development Center to serve the needs of children, teens, and young adults from the ages of 6 to 25. Additionally, the teens who participate in our Youth Community Development Programs go out into the community and bring youth-led workshops and performances to hundreds of community members of all ages through our strategic partnerships with other community-based organizations like Mount Pleasant Homes, Jamaica Plain Head Start, and many more.
The Music Clubhouse, a partner of the Music and Youth Initiative, provides youth with free, high-quality instrumental and vocal instruction (solo and ensemble), songwriting and performance opportunities, and access to musical-instrument technology, as well as strong personal encouragement and support. In a largely Latino and African-American community where music and the arts are woven into the cultural fabric, yet access to arts instruction and meaningful adult relationships is limited for many young people, the Hyde Square Task Force Music Clubhouse’s impact on young people’s lives is tremendously positive. Within this exciting and nurturing musical environment, the youth increase their musicianship and develop crucial personal skills including leadership, self-confidence, poise, teamwork, pride, critical thinking, and self-advocacy. The youths’ musical studies and activities are an outlet for positive self-expression and provide opportunities for them to become leaders and voices for change. With encouragement and mentorship from students of Berklee College of Music who serve as instructors of the program, youth are able to have the highest quality of music instruction that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them.
Learn Through Dance
Learn Through Dance (LTD): Started in 2005, Learn Through Dance is an innovative program that partners with Boston Public Schools to bring Afro-Latin dance instruction into schools during the school day. LTD allows schools to provide culturally appropriate and highly engaging arts and physical activity to fill a gap that schools do not have the capacity to fill. Hyde Square Task Force trains professional dance instructors, including Ritmo en Acción program alumni, to bring our award-winning curriculum to hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students. BPS students who participate in our Learn Through Dance program have the opportunity to be physically active during the school day, explore culture, and express creativity through dance. The fun involved in learning dance techniques, basic choreography, and partnering encourages positive engagement. Since its inception, LTD has reached over 3,000 students. Current partnerships are with the John F. Kennedy Elementary School, James W. Hennigan Elementary School, Boston Community Leadership Academy and Boston International High School and Newcomers Academy. Past partnerships include the Boston Green Academy, Curley K-8 School, English High School, Fenway High School, the Guild Elementary School, and the Agassiz Elementary School.