Over the last several years, the Jewish community in Greater Framingham has been growing, according to CJP’s 2005 Greater Boston Community Survey. The Jewish population ofMassachusettscontinues to be among the most highly educated of groups, with the majority of Jews completing high school and going on to finish college. 

As the Jewish population ofFraminghamhas been growing, so too, has the immigrant population, particularly Brazilians. Unfortunately, however, their educational outcomes are not marked with as much success.  Confronted with language and cultural barriers, it is often much more difficult for immigrant children and families to navigate the education system and reach the same levels of achievement. 

Noticing these trends, Jewish Family Service of Metrowest has been working closely with Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Framingham to close the achievement gaps for the last several years. About 80% of students at Woodrow Wilson are Brazilian, and the school has routinely underperformed compared to other schools in the area. Through a comprehensive array of programs and services both at home and at school, JFS seeks to improve the academic performance of these elementary school students in hopes of improving their outcomes in the future. 

Two of the most notable programs are the after school programs held at the school. The All Stars Program works to improve math, literacy, and computer skills among 3rd and 4th grade boys and girls. The Wizards Program is for 5th grade girls only, designed to foster an excitement in math and science through a variety of hands on projects and experiments. 

Thanks to the many volunteers who have dedicated one or two afternoons a week to mentor and tutor these students, the achievement gap at the school has begun to narrow. But there is still much work to be done, and the more volunteers that join the effort, the better the students of Woodrow Wilson will fare. 

Help JFS of Metrowest help these young students live the American dream. Volunteer on Monday and/or Tuesday afternoons for the school year.  You just might be helping the next Albert Einstein or Madeleine Albright.

For more information, please contact Diana O’Brien at dobrien@jfsmw.org or (508)875-3100×300.

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