After School

Thinking Outside the Box

Every year Highfields’ Reaching Higher after school program provides kids with the chance to have a summer camp experience. Although many camps have closed, it’s given staff the opportunity to think “outside the box” to provide a new experience for students called: “camp in a box!” Staff from Reaching Higher schools have created over 700

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“Learning at a Distance”

Education has taken a challenging turn during the COVID-19 pandemic. For after school programs like Reaching Higher, directing resources and students have taken a whole new form of creativity. Program Director, Brenda Weck, received the go-ahead for the “Learning at a Distance Plan” from the Michigan Department of Education. The new platform for learning and

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Sharing Mindfulness in Schools

When it comes to extra-curricular activities for children, teaching mindfulness doesn’t seem to be the first choice.  Yet, Reaching Higher students at North Elementary have been practicing mindfulness for the past nine weeks. Thanks to Highfields Mindfulness and Meditation Coordinator, Becky Womboldt, students have learned more than just to sit still. “My favorite part of

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Keeping the “Lights On”

                      “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” Maya Angelou, American poet and rights activist.            Highfields’ Reaching Higher after school program celebrated a special day on October 24th called ‘Lights On.’ It's a nationwide celebration that symbolizes how after-school programs keep the lights on for

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Thinking Well

Thanks to a grant from the Granger Foundation, Highfields’ PRIDE staff has the most up-to-date training to help high-risk students succeed.    Do you know how to walk up to someone and introduce yourself in a polite way without offending them? Do you know how to appropriately ask for permission to be excused from class

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Crystal sees positive changes in son Javon

“Reaching Higher has made a significant difference in my son’s life. Javon has become more social, active, and confident.  Before Reaching Higher, Javon never really had friends. He was bullied at school and was becoming depressed. He would always decline coming on family trips and would just play video games instead.  When he started attending Reaching Higher, that

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Hands-On Learning

Students in Highfields’ after school program, Reaching Higher, are opening their minds to new ideas thanks to a special program with Jackson District Library.    What do you get when you put together a battery pack, aluminum foil, wire, a buzzer, play dough, and a cardboard box?    A homemade Operation game!    That’s just

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Why is Jacob smiling?

Jacob likes technology, strategy games and science fiction, but he spends a lot of time alone, and has trouble making friends. When you give to Highfields, you help students like Jacob find a place to fit in.    Jacob is an introvert. He’s shy and likes to keep to himself by reading quietly or writing

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Community Supports “Salmon in the Classroom”

Thanks to partners in the community, Gardner Middle School’s Reaching Higher class successfully raised 150 salmon from fertilized eggs to young salmon.    “Salmon in the Classroom” is a program run by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that gives students the opportunity to raise, care for and maintain salmon in their classroom from

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A Leap of Faith

College freshman Jarod Taylor credits Reaching Higher for helping him get accepted into University of Michigan.    When Jarod was a student at Springport Middle School, he saw a flyer for Reaching Higher, a brand new after school program which helps students reinforce academics, develop new interests, and socialize with other peers. He was curious

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