Afterschool at Treasure Mountain Junior High (TMJH) through the Mustang After School Academy (MASA)
“Many of our junior high students have ‘come to life’ through MASA Afterschool activities that set the context for purpose-driven peer relationships.” -Nikolai Jensen, TMJH Counselor
Engaging in the MASA Afterschool program not only enhances academic success, but also fosters crucial social and emotional development, nurturing a well-rounded educational experience for 8th and 9th graders at TMJH. MASA provides options for kids to find robust academic support as well as access to numerous extracurricular clubs.
Photo: Students participating in Treasure Mountain Junior High's Mustang After School Academy (MASA) through educational enrichment opportunities and clubs like the wildly popular Chill Zone featuring E-Sports and Dungeons & Dragons.
Social Opportunities in E-Sports
Mr. Jensen shared a transformative story of a student who had initially hesitated to join the Afterschool program. “We have been working with him all year to encourage him to join us in Afterschool – to provide an opportunity for him to develop social skills. After nearly three months of encouragement, we were finally able to get him to join us by asking him if he would be in charge of setting up and breaking down the technology needed to run the E-Sports Team. By adding a purpose to the social context, we were able to create a safe environment for the student to participate in developing relationships with other students. The impact has been profound. The student is the first to arrive and the last to leave, he participates socially with a comfort that he has not been willing or able to in the past, and is contributing to the success of the group. This purpose-driven social context for the participation on our E-Sports Team has provided him with the opportunity to engage in socialization and develop skills that allow him to connect with peers of the same age. I love seeing the pride in his eyes as he sees the members of the group ask him for help in resolving tech issues. It’s so cool,” he told us.
Creativity in the Chill Zone
Independent learning projects are capturing attention in the MASA Chill Zone! 3-D printers enable the creation of three-dimensional objects by layering materials based on a digital model. Students in Chill Zone have the opportunity to utilize 3-D printers using their own imagination and vision to create. “These Dungeon & Dragons models showcase the incredible detail TMJH 9th grader, Finn Whitney, was able to create from scratch. The models are used to illuminate the stories students create in MASA’s Dungeons & Dragons Club,” Jensen said, referencing the boat and dragon models.
When asked what MASA means to Whitney, he said “Having access to the 3-D printer at our after-school D&D club allowed me to turn my ideas into reality. Being able to use the printers allowed us to bring our imagination to life...Thank you PCEF!"
PCEF donors make Afterschool affordable for all Park City families, by providing things like seed funding for uniforms and equipment for E-Sports, and 3-D printers and supplies for the Chill Zone, to create a fun and engaging environment. The collaboration between PCEF and the MASA is not just providing resources; it’s allowing students to seek out and become a part of something meaningful, by forming friendships and pursuing their unique interests. MASA also provides students the opportunity to make connections with trusted adults. Afterschool activities are shaping students' academic journeys and fueling their social and emotional growth and well being.
PCSD Afterschool registration opens for the 2024/25 school year on April 22, 2024.