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FCI Expanding Afterschool Programming
10:27AM / Friday, September 30, 2022
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Flying Cloud Institute (FCI) has announced funding from the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP) and Mass Cultural Council’s YouthReach, which will enable the organization to expand afterschool programs in Berkshire County.

Afterschool Girls Science Clubs will double from four to eight schools in the Pittsfield Public Schools (PPS) and will continue in the Lee, Berkshire Hills, and Southern Berkshire School Districts. These Young Women in Science programs focus on serving youth in Pittsfield and rural areas where access to hands-on science and engineering learning is limited. Schools partner with FCI to identify youth that will most benefit from this program. 

Girls Science Clubs offer STEM engagement for female and non-binary identified youth and create a pipeline of mentorship from ages 9 to 19. This includes cultural competency training and mindfulness skill-building to increase resiliency and find joy in STEM exploration. Local women STEM professionals volunteer in the programs to meet and work alongside the youth. 

Funding Girls Science Clubs is a good fit for MAP, which aims to improve the lives of all children and youth by supporting and expanding high quality and enriching afterschool learning. They strive for equity and inclusion so that every child has the opportunity for a full and fair education, in and out of school.

Like MAP, Mass Cultural Council’s YouthReach supports the creativity and leadership potential of young people with innovative creative youth development programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences. YouthReach programs are youth driven, focused on social justice, and designed to foster collaboration.

“Flying Cloud Institute is grateful for the support of MAP and YouthReach. We are confident our partnership with Berkshire County schools will help to reach needed communities while closing the gender gap in STEM fields,” said FCI Executive Director Maria Rundle.

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