At Yesler Community Center, The Big-Brained Superheroes Club is bridging the opportunity gap through deeply innovative and responsive after school programming for the youth of Seattle’s Yesler Terrace neighborhood.
Check out our shared superpowers here!
Tendimus. Discimus. Facimus.
We strive. We learn. We make.
We in The Big-Brained Superheroes Club confront the arts and sciences from the standpoint that learning about the world is just one small step toward remaking it. And toward remaking ourselves in the process.
Every homework assignment is an opportunity for us to exercise our Sense of Adventure superpower, which enables us to try new things (and even make mistakes!). Every interpersonal interaction is an opportunity for us to exercise our Kindness, Empathy, and Respect superpowers. And every big project is an opportunity for us to exercise our Persistence and Adaptability superpowers.
Always a work in progress, the story of Yesler Community Center’s Big-Brained Superheroes Club can be told in terms of adventure and misadventure.
Adventure: We started The Big-Brained Superheroes Club—formerly known simply as “Homework Help”—back in September of 2011 eager to help kids with their homework after school.
Misadventure: Motivation was a big challenge. Very few kids felt compelled to show up every Monday ready and able to overcome the tough obstacles that their work presented.
Adventure: After consulting a variety of books, behaviorists, and professional tutors, we developed a positive reinforcement program that succeeded in not only motivating kids who were already showing up but also in gradually, yet substantially, increasing their numbers.
Misadventure: With greater numbers, we began to encounter increasing disharmony both between kids and between kids and authority figures. We needed to foster a collegial atmosphere so as to refocus our energy on learning.
Adventure: During the summer of 2012, we worked to develop a language for and an awareness of our superpowers (aka “soft skills”) that we can readily access in times of stress and anxiety. And thus, The Big-Brained Superheroes Club is formed!