- All of the Project ALERTA components are implemented through various unique project-oriented enrichment curriculum modules, which are developed in accordance with the Massachusetts Curriculum Standards.
- The program aims to build exciting curricula that not only complement but also supplement and accelerate the regular school-day curriculum. For example, the Summer ALERTA 2014 curriculum was Pre-Columbian Cultures, a topic of study from the 4th grade social studies standards and relevant to the 5th grade social studies MCAS.
- Each module explores a specific theme that is chosen by the teachers, based upon the strengths and needs of the students and the interests of both students and teachers.
- Teachers create their own lesson plans, which creatively combine academic topics (language arts, science, mathematics, social studies) with innovative hands-on projects (performing arts, visual arts, technology, creative writing, culture) that focus on key developmental outcomes, such as positive identity, youth and leadership development and problem-solving skills.
- Lessons place a stronger emphasis on group and cooperative work by students and more guided and facilitated instruction by teachers, thus resulting in a more collegial, supportive and fun environment.
- Teachers are provided with all of the instructional materials they need, from books, to art supplies, to computers.
- Because teachers have the autonomy to choose and develop their own curriculum, their knowledge and enthusiasm for their chosen theme engages students more effectively in the lesson.
- Each module in the after-school and summer components also incorporates test-taking and study skills in order to provide students with the tools to succeed on standardized tests, which account for 50% of their application to the Boston exam schools.
- For ALERTA summer, the teachers begin meeting in the spring to develop an innovative project-based theme that they will teach for the summer and can then take back to their classrooms in the fall.
- During three years of participation in ALERTA, students can acquire significant knowledge, academic and social skills that will ultimately lead to higher overall motivation and achievement levels.
"ALERTA has given me powers to fight my fears."