Through the Studio and Outreach Programs, The Aspire Project provides affordable and accessible dance programs and fitness classes for all ages, and a youth academic lab. At The Aspire Project, no student is turned away. The Studio and Outreach programs give all students the opportunity to participate with a focus on serving those who otherwise could not afford it.
The Studio Program provides dance programs and fitness classes for students ages three years old to senior adults and offers sliding scale tuition for students and families who qualify for PPS free/reduced lunch, Oregon Trail Card benefits or are enrolled in Head Start.
The Aspire Project also hosts two summer dance camps and an after-school math tutoring and computer programming classes to support youth academic success.
The Outreach Program provides tuition-free dance classes for students in five North Portland after-school programs through a partnership with the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Community Schools.
The Aspire Project also hosts a youth summer dance camp at The Rosewood Initiative in Southeast Portland and free senior yoga classes year-round at Assumption Village, a North Portland assisted living home.
Notice of Non-Discrimination:
The programs and services of The Aspire Project reflect the cultural diversity of our community. We do not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, ethnicity, sex, gender identity / expression, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.
Since 2012, many of Portland Public schools have demolished art and PE curricula due to budget cuts, and have not yet been reestablished. Low-income families struggle to provide extracurricular arts and physical activities for their children and many are excluded due to the high cost of such programs. This exclusion facilitates the increased risk of obesity and development incognizance in children and adolescents in low-income areas, where significant disparities are already correlated in the US between a child's racial and economic status and the prevalence of childhood obesity (Center for Disease Control & Prevention).
Findings indicate that disadvantaged youth are more likely to participate in tutoring programs and less likely to participate in extracurricular activities such as dance lessons or sports programs. As a result, it has been concluded that academic deficits among disadvantaged youths tend to limit their ability to participate in other types of enrichment activities and programs (gse.harvard.edu).
Research has demonstrated that structured out-of-school programs benefit youth socially, emotionally and academically. After-school programs can impact learning and academic success in a number of ways. Participation in after-school programs results in less disciplinary problems, lower dropout rates, better academic performance in school, including better grades and test scores, greater on-time promotion, improved homework completion, and improved work habits (Little, Wimer & Weiss).