Providing Allston-Brighton children and youth with opportunities to access and participate in Harvard educational programs.
Participate in a youth program
The Harvard Ed Portal builds on Harvard’s commitment to education beyond the classroom through several programs focused on academic mentoring by Harvard undergraduates for children and youth in the subject areas of math, science, computer science, writing, and the arts. Allston-Brighton residents and students who attend the Gardner Pilot Academy, regardless of where they live, can participate in the Ed Portal’s youth programs. All programs are free and open to students in grades 1-12. Participants must sign up for Ed Portal membership to participate.
- Mentoring Program for Grades 1-12*
- Enrichment Clubs for Grades 6-9*
- Homework Coaching for middle and high school students**
- Mentoring Program for the Gardner Pilot Academy**
- Special Events & Programs
*Application required; please see section below for important deadlines.
**Drop-in program–no application required.
All Programs take place at the Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave. in Allston.
Applications: The application period for this semester is now open. Each program below will have an application link on our Family ID page. Please make sure that your child is an eligible age for a program prior to signing them up, then fill out the relevant information. You may sign up for multiple programs, but please indicate preference and as many days that your student is available due to high interest in some of the program.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Students in grades 1-12 are invited to sign up for the Harvard Ed Portal’s Spring Mentoring Program! For 10 weeks, students are paired either one-on-one or in small groups with Harvard undergraduates, who create hands-on activities tailored to individual interests, and serve as college-age role models. Our undergraduate mentors encourage youth to develop strong self-identities as enthusiastic learners—by supporting creativity & curiosity, validating questions and instilling the skills to search for answers.
The Mentoring Program breaks down traditional walls between subjects by incorporating visual art, music and technology into writing, math, science and public speaking.
Subject-area programs are available based on grade level. Applications are due by February 6 at 5PM:
- Application for grades 1-2: hands-on science;
- Application for grades 3-8: writing, public speaking, science, visual art, music with computer technology, math and/or technology;
- Application for grades 9-12: algebra, trigonometry, calculus, geometry, expository writing, the sciences, and other high school-level academic areas.
Mentoring is a 10-week long commitment. Students will meet on the same day and time with the same Harvard undergrad for the duration of the program. Sessions are offered Monday through Thursday at 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., or 6 p.m. for 50 minutes each.
Youth may participate in specialized clubs that explore a specific topic through semester-long, activity-based curricula. Current club offerings include: computer coding, the science of cooking, and biotechnology laboratory skills for specified age groups.
Club sessions are 90-120 minutes in length and are offered once a week during the semester.
Computer Coding Club
Learn how to code and build computer programs in the Computer Coding Club! In this introduction to computer science, you will learn how to create fun projects using Scratch and how to mix logic and creativity by building small programs.
Amgen Biotech Club (Level 2 Club)
Use the biotechnology skills and knowledge that you have already developed at the Ed Portal to engage in more hands-on activities that manipulate DNA. To enroll in this Level 2 club, you must have successfully completed an Amgen Biotech program or club at the Ed Portal in the Spring, Summer or Fall of 2016 or have equivalent experience (staff permission required).
Science of Cooking Club
Discover the scientific principles responsible for making delicious food while you learn to cook! This semester's club will build on the fall semester’s Science of Cooking explorations. Both new members (6th-8th grade) and repeat members (including 5th grade) are welcome.
Homework Coaching is a free program for middle and high school students who attend school or live in Allston-Brighton. Students can drop in every Tuesday & Thursday between 3:00-5:00pm to receive academic support from Harvard undergrads. Our success coaches are prepared to help students with any need including:
- Subject-area tutoring (math, English, literature, social studies)
- Essay review & effective writing techniques
- Exam prep & study skills
- College planning (search for colleges, write essays, fill out applications)
- Computer skills literacy
- And more!
Snacks will be provided at each session!
Students do not need to apply for Homework Coaching, but must register to attend.
Students from Boston Public Schools’ GPA’s after-school program, come to the Ed Portal three to six times per semester to participate in a mentoring enrichment program. Students engage in hands-on inquiry-based science and humanities enrichment activities in small groups with the Harvard Ed Portal Mentors.
Susan Johnson, Manager of Teaching and Curriculum for the Education Portal, develops the curriculum for the program each semester in collaboration with faculty and colleagues in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Harvard undergraduate mentors are then trained to use their expertise and resources from Harvard College to run the sessions.
In addition, the Ed Portal partners with Harvard schools and organizations to host special events and programs throughout the year that bring Harvard’s educational resources to the community. Past programs have included college conversations with Harvard undergraduates, playwriting workshops, interactive science and arts events, and more.
Ed Portal Mentoring Program in the News
- Watch this video to learn more about the Ed Portal's mentoring program.
- “Allston-Brighton Youth and Harvard Undergraduates Showcase Project Work for the Community,” Harvard Community Connections, December 23, 2013
- "Opening a portal to summer: Harvard students mentor Allston-Brighton youths, make learning fun" Harvard Gazette, July 7, 2013
- "Ed Portal showcases work," Harvard Gazette, May 7, 2012
- "Young minds well matched," Harvard Gazette, December 15, 2011
- "Sharing excitement for learning," Harvard Gazette, May 26, 2011
- “Allston Community Embraces Ed Portal,” Harvard Crimson, April 9, 2010
- “Education Portal is a gateway to learning,” Harvard Gazette, December 4, 2009
- “Opening the door to knowledge,” Harvard Gazette, June 4, 2009