The Wonder Years
THE WONDER Y.E.A.R.S
The middle school and high school cohort of children are most critical to one’s personal, educational, and professional development. Middle to High school aged children must attain and develop valuable life skills as a basis for a strong foundation prior to adulthood. The Wonder Y.E.A.R.S program was developed to enhance the children’s path of academic success and growth and to ensure success on standardized tests. By strengthening communication, perceptual and intellectual proficiencies, the Wonder Y.E.A.R.S program provides a set of skills that can be applied to academic areas beyond script writing, video and editing their future in a mini documentaries.
“A Day At A Time” has created a program called The Wonder Y.E.A.R.S “YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS ACHIEVING REAL SUCCESS” based on the need to enhance and fill the gap that leaves students wondering “what am I really good at”? Can I earn and build a career based on my findings? We focus on identifying the best route to a path of happiness and career choice by exploring the four modules during an 6 week course targeting; self esteem building, goals setting, exploration of entrepreneurship, and awareness of self and others, through script writing and then moving on to Video Production.
During the video production portion students learn the basics of how to make a short film/documentary. Starting with formulating their stories in pre-production, working as the crew to execute and shoot them with digital video cameras in production and putting it all together and editing them in post-production using industry-standard software tools, students watch as their creative ideas and imaginations come to life. They also get the chance to present a final DVD to parents and fellow peers.
As part of the learning process, “TWY” introduces youth to professionals in various fields and most importantly in their desired fields, They get to discuss events they attend, guest speakers they have interviewed, benefits of various workshops and the process of learning about each chosen field.
Students will have an opportunity to visit a real live broadcast studio and work with High Definition (HD) cameras to shoot and edit on computers.
Additional components of the group workshops will entail expert advice from industry professionals who will teach them the importance of proper behavioral and dinning etiquette as well as the importance of health and wellness.
“TWY” encourages critical thinking; students are expected to revise their scripts multiple times in order to improve upon their work.
“TWY” holds summer camps and after-school programs. Camp includes between 12 to 14 students and the student-teacher ratio is roughly 4:1 so that each student receives personalized assistance. Certified teaching professionals are hired from the local school district as well as teachers on the cusp of obtaining their licensure from the State of NJ to work side by side with the children..
Students are invited to return as mentor to the new students and continue to build on what they’ve learned. Although it does require effort on the part of the students, we make the program fun. We seek to inspire and to encourage all the students we work with to become more confident about their future and have some concrete direction in order to excel and compete in a world that needs their talent.
The organization is governed by an five-person board of directors, drawing from the ranks of education, business, law, Health and media and arts.
We believe that “TWY” is replicable and can expand both horizontally and vertically. The plan is to grow the program in clusters and to hold more than one camp at a particular site to gain efficiencies in staffing and administration. In addition, connecting the camps with after-school programs is key to building continuity for students who wish to continue with the program.