Project ALERTA

at the University of Massachusetts Boston


  • 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 participant:

"ALERTA has given me powers to fight my fears."

Giving to UMass Boston

Your gift to Project ALERTA helps ensure that Boston’s Latino and English Language Learners achieve academic success.

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