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Outdoor Adventure Program

Higher Ground’s after-school program mission comes from a restorative justice framework. Our Mission is to provide a safe and nurturing space where students are given both the tools and access necessary to be successful in the academic arena while exposing them and their families to varied cultural, artistic, and fitness experiences that will assist in their development into happy, well-rounded and successful people.

Lead Agency

As a Lead Agency, we strongly believe in supporting Oakland Unified's District Plan which includes providing Safe Healthy & Supportive Schools.

Our Lead Agency serves the City of Oakland. Over the past 20 years, we have served or continue to serve Bay Area Technology Middle School, East Oakland Pride, Kipp Elementary/Middle School, Parker Elementary, (Formerly) E. Morris Cox Elementary School, Bridge Academy at Melrose, NewHighland Academy, Brookefield, Allendale, & Sobrante Park Elementary. We serve children ages 6-12 years old participating in a wide variety of recreational, cultural, and educational programs. Each program provides the board the same beliefs, support system, and care allowing our children to grow as young healthy well-rounded individuals. Higher Ground NDC serves approximately 500 students in the City of Oakland. Between 2:45 p.m. and 6:00 pm Monday through Friday, 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm on minimum days and Saturdays. 

Higher Ground Neighborhood development corporation recognizes that the time when school-age children are most in need of being in safe, supportive environments is between 3 pm to 6 pm.

At all our after school program sites, our youth receive homework help, service learning,  participate in fitness activities, engage in non-traditional recreational games and explore arts & culture opportunities. Our After School Programs are proud to say that our curriculum complements complement what children are learning in their schools with modeling their academic schedule with Si-Swun, Envisions, & Open Court with our Agency’s lead lessons plans. We empower and strengthen our student’s sense of belonging in the communities in which they live through community walks & safety routes program.

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Teacher Recommend

"Higher Ground after school and day time service really help us out. The after school program is better than it has ever been and really promotes community and the staff work well together."


Kinder Teacher at Allendale Elementary


Our Afterschool youth receive academic support from staff to complete homework, engage in academic plans/games and reinforce classroom learning. In addition, Afterschool youth can utilize our resource centers such as the library& computer lab to improve their literacy and computer skills.


Service Learning

Higher Ground service learning projects concentrate on creating experiences for urban youth and their families that expose them to different physical activities such as hiking, traveling competitive sports teams for boys and girls that incorporate service projects such as reading to youngsters, volunteering at senior homes, hosting food, penny, and coat drives, and lastly creating opportunities for travel outside of the united states through sports.  Our service learning projects incorporate entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and community activism.  Our goal is to develop socially responsible and conscious adults.

In addition,  Our Afterschool youth participate in nature tours and visits cultural institutions, which introduce them to the breadth of resources in the Bay Area allowing them to learn in an active way. We conduct nutrition, cooking, and gardening classes 3-4 days a week teaching our students to promote self wellness & healthy living. Our students learn to grow organic foods, maintain an ecosystem, harvest, and put the use of all grown products in their entirety. Students learn the process of farming, utilizing what they have on limited means, and recycling.

The G.R.E.E.N Project

The Geography, Restoration, Environmental Ecology, and Nation-building (G.R.E.E.N) is our comprehensive service program that focuses on the four components listed in its title. This project focuses on building our future environmental restorers.  Park rangers, engineering, scientist, and researcher are the career paths this service program encourages. The culminating project is a comprehensive family oriented 6 week hiking experience for paying customers. The goal is to create an intergenerational experience for entire families to experience the hike trails of the Bay Area. The G.R.E.E.N mile hikes take participants on a three part series in which they learn about the history, vegetation and habitat along a particular trail, to restoring habitats and trails along a stretch, to understanding the importance of gardening and nutrition to healthy living.  Students are the primary planners and implementers of this project that culminates in 24 mile hike that takes place of 6 Saturdays.


Arts: Visual & Performance

Our programs offer a rich and diverse performing & visual arts program that develop creative minds and bodies in various arts and culture programs, led by our lead staff. Among the arts courses offered are photography, cheer/drill, theatre arts, fashion class, sewing & visuals arts, African Dance, and Mexican Dance. We serve grades Kinder to 5th grade, five days a week.

Physical Fitness & Organized Sports

Our Afterschool youth and young athletes participate in a range of physical fitness activities & organized sports. Youth are encouraged to develop their abilities in various team sports and learn new skills, such as flag football, track, baseball, year-round cheer competitions & basketball. Our coaches offer a balance of sports instruction, games, recreational fitness opportunities, and competitive play in citywide tournaments with the City of Oakland Parks & Rec. We empower life lessons such as self-discipline, teamwork, group interaction, community building, & team relationships. Our sports program promotes unity, friendly competitive play, & good sportsmanship. Each season culminates in various special events, community socials, & fundraising. We are proud to say that our afterschool program youth have successfully won numerous awards in all areas of organized sports & individual achievements both city-wide & state.


The Community All-Starz

The community all-starz health & fitness program works with student-athletes to build social responsibility.  So many times we read about athletes taking or not taking a stand around issues that may or may not empower the communities they play in or represent.  The Community All Starz work to build competitive athletic skills that lead to colligate level competition, we provide exposure to experiences that allow student-athletes to plan, implement, and monitor projects that teach coach, and build self-esteem in the students and youngsters they work with, and plan for.  Projects like researching their favorite professional or college athlete favorite charity and participating in it, planting flowers, planning school, and community gardens,  discussing the local and global issues and deciding what to do about them, as well as creating projects that will engage and excite their peers at other schools and locations.  The All-Starz is about a scholarship, athletic skills, and community service.


Registration is available from September through June. Pre-enrollment for continuing students starts every May For more information about the registration process please visit our "Meet our Schools" Tab or check out our simple step guide below:

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