New arts-based after-school program speaks directly to President Obama’s educational goals around building 21st-century skills
San Francisco, California––Mission Graduates is pleased to announce a collaboration with Matt Jervis, creator of the innovative new educational program MacGyverClass. Designed to help kids lead, build confidence and exercise 21st century problem-solving skills,MacGyverClass is a creative curriculum that responds to multiple learning styles and encourages joyful learning through dynamic after-school sessions. MacGyverClass pushed children to devise creative solutions to whimsical challenges using recycled and other “cast-off” materials. Challenged, for example, to build “sneakers that you can use for time travel” using egg cartons, duct tape, bottle caps and VHS tape, students respond with finished products that are often beautiful sculptural pieces.
Jeff Feinman, Executive Director of Mission Graduates, observed Matt’s MacGyverClass in its infancy at various Berkeley schools and sought to integrate the project with his own after-school service menu. Says Feinman, “I was looking to inspire a deep love of learning and to create opportunities for kids to flex problem-solving “muscles” that aren’t always nurtured in traditional, one-size-fits-all school-day classrooms.” One hundred students have registered for MacGyverClass over the past four years and Feinman sees significant growth on the horizon. Because the program aligns strongly with the SFUSD’s new strategic plan, which puts a heavy emphasis on “21st century skills” and “joyful learning,” MacGyverClass was a natural fit for his organization.
Mission Graduates is a nonprofit organization that increases the number of K-12 students in San Francisco’s Mission District who are prepared for and complete a college education. Through a wide range of in-school and after-school programs, Mission Graduates seeks to transform the culture of the community to one in which college is an everyday expectation. In addition to adding MacGyverClass to their program menu, Mission Graduates is committed to identifying other distribution channels for MacGyverClass, replicating the project using a “train the trainer” model at multiple after-school sites throughout San Francisco.