The A.I.M. Afterschool Program was established in 2008 with federal funding from the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. A collaborative effort between community members and school administrators, A.I.M. was designed to improve the academic outcomes at the Bellows Falls Middle School while also meeting the needs of high-risk students. Now in its seventh year of the 21CCLC grant, the program has successfully grown in size and capacity by infusing a variety of quality enrichment opportunities, and establishing a comprehensive academic tutoring program. With close ties to the community, A.I.M. has become a visible and important part to the daily lives of students in the Bellows Falls Middle School community.
- Program was founded in 2008, through a 21st Century Community Learning Grant from the Vermont Agency of Education
- Our original name was just "21C"
- During our first year, we served 80 students
- In 2011, we changed our name to "A.I.M. Afterschool" which stands for Achieve, Inspire, Motivate
- Our Program Director, Orianna Baez has been with the program since 2009
- We successfully received another 21CCLC grant in 2013 - partially funding our program for another five years
- A.I.M. also receives support from community partners and local funds - we recently received funding from the Holt Foundation to support health and wellness related activities!
- Programs have remained free of cost which allows students from all economic backgrounds to access our activities
- Transportation is provided to students who can't get a ride home. Approximately 35% of our students ride a bus home after A.I.M.
- During the summer of 2013, we introduced "Summer @ A.I.M." which included outdoor activities, photography, biking and a week long transition program for incoming students called "New Student Academy"