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Outdoor Adventure Program
Expanded Learning After School Mission Statement

Higher Ground’s after-school program mission is to operate with a restorative justice framework and practices. Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing space where students are given both the tools and access necessary to be successful with social, emotional, and intellectually centered experiences.  Developing youth who are academically curious, equipped with emotional vocabulary, and courageous when trying new things, we impact youth. Exposing youth and their families to varied cultural, artistic, and fitness focused experiences, Higher Ground expands their encounters with new and exciting activities.  Exposure helps assist youth developing into happy and well-rounded successful people.​

Expanded Learning & Lead Agency

Over the past 20 years, Higher Ground has provided lead agency services, comprehensive after school programs, supplemental service provider coordination the under no child left behind act and served as a community based partner to each and every school we have served.  Higher Ground has served in some capacity more than half of Oakland’s most vulnerable public, charter, catholic, and private schools, and families.  We are proud of that!


Expanded Learning Programs

Higher Ground Neighborhood Development Corp. provides comprehinsive after school and enrichment class programming.  We recognize that the most at-risk time for youth is between the hours of 3pm and 6pm.  These are the critical times when parents need support for their school-age children.  Expanded learning programs serve children aged    6-25 years old hours are the time when children and families need to be exposed to a safe and supportive environment that promotes social, emotional, physical, and intellectual expanded learning opportunities. We participating in a wide variety of recreational, cultural, educational, college, career, and workforce development programming.

Higher Ground continues to support, or has supported Girls Inc. of the Bay Area, East Oakland Pride Elementary, Aspire Charter School @ Berkeley Maynard Academy, Bay Area Technology Academy middle/high school, The University of California Berkeley ASES after school programs, Northern Lights School, Kipp Bridges Elementary/Middle School, the former Parker Elementary, Education for Change (formerly)E. Morris Cox Elementary School, Bridges Academy at Melrose, Castlemont Preparatory Elementary School, New Highland/Rise Academy, Brookfield Elementary, Allendale Elementary, Marshall Elementary, Sobrante Park Elementary, Bridges Elementary (Formerly Jefferson Elementary), Bel Air Academy in the City of Pittsburg, Ca, and the Sacramento Unified School District over our 20 years of service. We are rooted and with a wealth of experience. 

Through our expanded learning programming Higher Ground is able to reach children and families where they are.  Higher Ground realized that our role in being responsive to the community we serve happens through after school and its expansive activities.   Traveling sports teams, Saturday family based activities, service learning days, and community engagement activities are all ways Higher Ground creates ties to the communities we serve.  As Higher Ground participants move across programming, each age range transverses through programming that is developmentally appropriate for the age range.  Within each range children and their families receive services that will help propel them to the next phase of development up to and through college or career choices. 


All HG programming builds upon each other and prepares our youth to serve in the neighborhoods they are from.  By providing wrap around services that address the whole child and their family, we help Higher Ground participants be resilient and they understand that under normal circumstances, they do not have to leave their neighborhoods to do better. They can be the change they want to see.  Through our service learning, community engagement, and entrepreneurship activities that teach youth and families how to engage with a business mindset, we all see the value in where we are and the neighborhoods we inhabit.  Higher Ground champions the idea that a neighborhood’s children have an obligation to return and contribute the skills and talents they developed in their neighborhood after school and community based programs.  Shared beliefs systems within the Corporation and its partners allow for longevity.  Supporting systems of care in the school and neighborhood setting is what we do!  Providing Oakland’s most vulnerable children with the soil to grow as young healthy well-rounded individuals is our mission.


Expanded learning program sites provide cultural and physical enrichment, homework help, service-learning activities, and participation in wellness activities.  Youth engage in non-traditional recreational games, and explore visual, performing, and culture art opportunities. Higher Ground expanded learning programs is proud to say that our curriculum complements the positive academic experiences children have during their daytime school days.  We empower and strengthen our students’ with a sense of belonging and create reciprocal opportunities for youth to serve in the communities in which they live.  

Expanded Learning Lead Agency Work

As a Lead Agency, we strongly believe in supporting School Districts Plans around providing safe, healthy, and supportive programing that complements Community School designs. Our Lead Agency services are a part of the Oakland and Sacramento Ca., unified school districts, approved expanded learning providers.  We provide lead agency services, comprehinsive expanded learning programming that takes place after school, Enrichment Class instruction, school based behavioral health counseling, school climate and sense of belonging programming, and professional development that teaches all adults touching children how to engage in effective BIPOC youth development.   We serve children aged 6-25 years old participating in a wide variety of recreational, cultural, educational, college, career, and workforce development programming.




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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