Core After-School Program
Our after-school program is broken up into two groups of girls, each meeting two times a week from October - May. Girls share a snack together, have a circle-time where they get to individually express how they are feeling, work on various activities such as art projects, playing theater games, going on field trips and developing relationships with other girls, thereby strengthening their own self-confidence and self-worth. The girls come from various schools around Greater Portland and are often from many different backgrounds and socio-economic statuses. They are required at the beginning of the year to commit to the program for the entire year and sign a contract stating that they will commit to keeping the ACOG space safe, positive and most-importantly bullying free. Bullying of any kind is not tolerated at ACOG.
Our Fledgling program is primarily for girls in elementary school (grades 4th and 5th) and meets two days a week (Tuesday/Thursday) directly after-school.
The Ensemble program is primarily for middle and high-school age girls. Girls meet twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Our ACOG Ambassadors group is made up of high school age girls who have been in ACOG programming for at least two years. This group will work on community service projects, community outreach, ACOG fundraising and will act as an advisory committee for future ACOG programming.
- OUR PROGRAMS -
Community Outreach Programs
ACOG’s Community Outreach Programs provide free, transformative enrichment opportunities through the arts for disadvantaged and marginalized youth.
"Art in the Parks"
In 2013, we piloted “Art in the Parks” and have expanded to provide free weekly programming for hundreds of children in Kennedy Park, Riverton Park, Sagamore Village and Front Street, neighborhoods with some of the greatest poverty rates in the area. Locating our programming outside sites providing free lunches, we are able to directly reach youth (both boys and girls) most in need of free, safe and positive activities during summertime, helping to lessen the achievement gap between low and high-income youth. The open studio style of “Art in the Parks” provides supervised visual arts programming such as watercolor, drawing, mask-making and more, bringing art directly into troubled neighborhoods, keeping kids off the streets, and engaging them in active art-making. Enriching activities are available for all ages and abilities, and children are encouraged to discover their own strengths and interests. By tying each visual arts lesson to a literature motif, we uniquely combine the literary and visual arts for an even greater impact. We encourage participation with a check-in sticker area, and by giving free art materials and books for participants to take home at the end of the summer.
Portland Mentoring Alliance
(aka Project C3: Camaraderie, Connectivity and Creativity)
Project C3 is held once a week throughout the school year at Portland High School in partnership with Portland Mentoring Alliance (PMA) for girls, primarily from refugee populations, who are participating in PMA. Through our pilot efforts, we discovered that the girls were particularly drawn to our culinary and visual arts programming. The act of gathering together in a kitchen, or around a table working on a craft, coalesced bonding between girls and mentors and provided support that these girls craved and needed. This past year, responding to input from the girls, we have also added dance programming to our curriculum.
Boys and Girls Club - Riverton
This year we will be providing monthly arts programming in partnership with the Riverton Boys and Girls Club. On the third friday of every month throughout the school year we will be providing a free art workshop for girls at the Riverton Clubhouse. With this new partnership we hope to engage more youth in our programs, and stay connected to many of our Art in the Park participants throughout the school year – building a bridge from our program to their community.
Mentoring has been identified by the America’s Promise Alliance as one of the five fundamental resources needed by America’s young people. We will be seeking to match our Ensemble girls up with a local business woman/person in our community who will provide that girl insight and perspective into either a particular career choice, a certain family situation or simply a view behind the scenes into a particular career. We will be determining what interests and challenges our girls are facing, and then working to pair them up with a “mentor” that might best suit them. If you are interested in becoming a potential ACOG mentor – please contact us at
As part of our commitment to our girls, ACOG continues to offer opportunities to help girls succeed. As an ACOG intern, past ACOG high school girls have the opportunity to work with our Fledgling groups and potentially earn credits towards their community service requirements at their various schools. Interns are chosen based on the girls past performance in the program, level of matureness and commitment and ability to work as a team member with the ACOG staff and as a mentor to our younger ACOG girls. The number of internships each year are limited and determined by the needs of that year’s participants.