What is Beacons?

Beacons Centers

Visit the Beacons website: http://beaconsminneapolis.org/

Beacon centers transform schools into active youth centers after school and in the summer, providing free high quality youth development opportunities with an emphasis on:
  • School Success...by increasing academic skills, school connectedness, and motivation to learn.
  • Youth Leadership...by engaging youth through service-learning, character development, and decision-making opportunities.
  • Family Engagement...by involving families in decision making and connecting them to the school and community.
  • Community-School Connections...by creating linkages between the school and community-based organizations, businesses, and colleges that can increase opportunities and connections for youth in their communities.
Each year, Beacons serves over 2500 young people and their families at our 8 Beacons Centers located in neighborhoods in North, Northeast, and South Minneapolis.

Beacons began operating in Minneapolis in 1998 as an adaptation from the successful New York City Beacons Initiative, where over 80 Beacon centers throughout the city still serve youth and neighborhoods today. Today six cities are a part of the national Beacons Network and have ongoing Beacons Initiatives.
Beacons demographics

Who are the young people participating in Beacons?

Beacons focuses on serving young people that would not otherwise have access to high quality afterschool opportunities:
  • 90% are youth of color
  • 91% recieve free or reduced lunch, indicating they are from low-income families
  • 15% receive Special Education services
Languages spoken by Beacons youth include English, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, Hmong, and American Sign Language.

What are the Goals of Beacons?

Research shows that afterschool programs can lead to positive long term outcomes for youth, including our core goals for young people:
  • Increased academic achievement
  • Increased sense of school connectedness
  • Increased capacity for productive adulthood
  • Increased youth leadership and community engagement
Our vision for the future:
  • Every young person in Minneapolis graduates high school ready for college, work, and life.

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