Many of Beacon’s students will attend high schools that are nothing like the schools and neighborhoods they come from. Our students will be transitioning to predominantly white, wealthy institutions where the cultural shift may be challenging for them. Our goal is to provide cultural enrichment and affirmation through activities that expose them to experiences that many students in these high schools have been through while affirming the value of our students’ identity, culture, and sense of community.
During the spring, students typically learn proper rowing technique and the basics of crew from a team of volunteers led by 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Kathy Keeler. We then usually move to the Charles River using the Community Rowing boats. Beacon students have joined crew teams throughout New England independent high schools.
Running is an essential part of Beacon’s curriculum. We believe that running is a powerful tool for learning patience, perseverance, and willpower—the same character traits required for academic success. Throughout their school year, Beacon students run two or three times per week (rain or shine) and they learn about nutrition and healthy eating habits. Their training culminates in an annual 5K road race hosted by Beacon. From running consistently, Beacon students learn that they can embrace difficult situations and use them as opportunities to become stronger.
Beacon students learn to be comfortable in the water. We work with a neighborhood pool or commercial swimming school to provide lessons for our students. Many students are learning to swim for the first time, and others are perfecting their swimming technique. All students leave Beacon able to swim, and some of our alumni have become lifeguards and competitive swimmers.
During the year, Beacon students learn team sports such as soccer, volleyball, field hockey, and basketball at a local gym. Teamwork is an essential element of a Beacon student’s development and is an important community-building activity.
Visual Thinking Strategies
This course is designed to provide cultural enrichment and affirmation while increasing students’ abilities to understand, describe, and think critically about art. Students will become familiar with collections in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the ICA. Exploring galleries and exhibits at these three museums throughout the year, they will practice Visual Thinking Strategies to learn how to analyze and talk about works of art.
Beacon Academy welcomes outside speakers on a regular basis to meet directly with our students and share their experiences. With a goal of bringing in people with diverse ideas and opinions from a variety of backgrounds, each speaker explores a different topic. We then facilitate engaging discussions between our speakers and students.
Other Co-Curricular Activities Have Included:
Volunteering at Camp Jabberwocky
Trip to Martha's Vineyard
Skiing and Snowboarding Lessons
Boston Bike Tour
Financial Literacy Class
Attending Broadway Shows in Boston
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Board Games/Chess Club