The Talented and Gifted Latino Program (TAG) is a year-round program that has served the academic, personal and social needs of Boston Public Schools (BPS) students since 1985. TAG began as a small summer program preparing of 60 students for entrance in the exam schools over the course of three weeks.
Model expands to growing ELL population
Lucia Mayerson-David founded TAG with the goal of increasing the retention and graduation rates of Latino students in the Exam schools. The model was so successful that BPS later asked TAG to expand to district schools. In 2001, TAG successfully expanded to include programming catered to English Language Learners, given the great need for this growing population.
Every student is talented and gifted
TAG works with the spectrum of Latino and ELL youth, from those who are high-achieving and college-bound, to those who have dropped out of school, for it is the philosophy of the TAG Program that every student is talented and gifted and it is the responsibility of adults and educators to help students discover, develop and manifest their talents and gifts.
TAG accomplishes its mission through six program components which provide comprehensive academic, personal, and social support to Latino youth and English Language Learners (ELL). In each component TAG integrates leadership development and community building, thereby creating the next generation of Latino leaders that will uplift the Boston community. The six components of TAG are:
- Intensive academic tutoring;
- School vacation and Saturday academies that combine academic support and enrichment/recreation programming;
- Intensive one-to-one or two-to-one mentoring with volunteer adult Latino mentors;
- Student-led, school-based TAG Clubs which offer leadership development and a vehicle for community involvement and support;
- College awareness activities and scholarship fund; and
- An intensive summer program onsite at UMass Boston.
Reaching out to families and increasing their involvement in their child's education is a key component of our strategy. Bilingual family events at schools and UMass Boston, home visits, meetings with parents, and frequent family phone contact are a regular part of our programs.
Although the TAG program is open to all students in BPS, its services are geared towards Latino and ELL students, with strong partnerships with Boston International High School, Boston Latin Academy, Boston Latin School, Brighton High School, Burke High School, English High School, and the John D. O'Bryant School of Math and Science. Students who participate in TAG and successfully complete high school are guaranteed admission to UMass Boston, thereby opening the doors to an excellent four-year college education.
TAG now has a long list of alumni, many of whom have since obtained postgraduate degrees and are now working professionals. Many of these alumni return to the program as TAG Club guest speakers, mentors, TAG tutors, teaching assistants, and teachers in the summer program. Such is the commitment that TAG students develop to the program and its population that the past two program coordinators both began as TAG students in their 7th grade at Boston Latin School.