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Empowering Students Through Project-Based Learning: MS ExTRA’s Live Project Showcase

ExpandED Schools' MS ExTRA program hosted its second Live Project Showcase, bringing together over 50 talented students from multiple schools across the city.

Recently, ExpandED Schools’ MS ExTRA program hosted its second in-person Live Project Showcase. Led by Natalie Colón, Alex De La Cruz, Tiffany Perry, Marleny Polanco, Noel Morales, Inayah Ansari, and Allison Philippin of the Comprehensive Program Support team, the event brought together over 50 students from various parts of the city to showcase their book club projects.

At the core of MS ExTRA’s success is its unique model, which combines guided reading, group discussions, small-group tutoring instruction, and project-based learning within the afterschool program setting for middle school students. This approach transforms book clubs into engaging platforms where students can immerse themselves in literacy development. This year the MS ExTRA program supported roughly 338 students across its 16 schools, working with principals and CBO partners collaboratively. The Live Projects showcase was the perfect combination of all those elements.

Students were given the freedom to choose their projects and were responsible for assigning roles and responsibilities to effectively convey their stories. Throughout this process, the students received support from their dedicated literacy educators.

The impressive participation from schools such as PS/MS 89, PS 109, The Middle School of Media, Law and Fine Arts, JHS 88, The North Bronx School of Empowerment, and Kingsborough Early College Secondary School highlights the widespread impact of MS ExTRA across our community.

The success of the Live Project Showcase serves as evidence to the transformative power of the MS ExTRA program, empowering students to become confident readers, critical thinkers, and effective communicators. We look forward to witnessing the continued growth and accomplishments of these talented individuals as they embark on their educational journeys.

To learn more about MS ExTRA, visit our page.