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Our Work

ACOG participants develop a stronger sense of self as they build 21st century skills such as teamwork, communication, adaptability and leadership.

"I learned to find my voice (at ACOG).  Without that safe space to explore, I have no idea when or how I would have approached 

self-expression by myself.”

- ACOG Participant

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Core Afterschool Resiliency & Empowerment Program

Over more than 25 years, ACOG has honed the invaluable work of using the arts (visual, performing, and culinary) as a tool for positive youth development and supporting students to succeed through positive mentoring, community building, and creative expression.​  


ACOG’s Core Afterschool program provides youth a safe space to be themselves, express and explore their feelings, build confidence and, most importantly, have fun. Groups meet 1-2 times a week throughout the school year, averaging between 150-200 hours of free enrichment per student, per year.  

Afterschool at ACOG involves:

  • snack-time that acts as a transition period in their day, giving time to connect with other girls and build community.

  • opening check-in circle where each student shares how they are
    feeling, and engages in our question of the day.

  • fun team-building games where participants learn about each other and themselves.

  • creative visual art projects that might include vision boards, fabric self-portraits, flower studies, or creating an art-inspired outfit in our "dress project." 

  • delicious cooking activities such as our "family traditions" project where students share a recipe that is special to them, and take the lead in the kitchen. 

  • confidence-building theater games which lead to rehearsing and working together towards a theatrical performance. (Please be aware that our curriculum typically does not include dancing or singing.)

  • closing circle reflection on their time together, and sharing experiences that make them smile. 


Interested in involving a young person in our program?

Discover more on our "Afterschool Program Details" page, where you can also complete our Interest Form.

“Youth involved in theater, and other artistic pursuits had higher school achievement, lower rates of dropping out of school and better attitudes about school and community.” 

James Catterall, UCLA 

“Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: The Effects of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts on the Achievements and Values of Young Adults”

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