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After School Program

Wilderness Kids partner with Alexandria City Public Schools to offer three  after-school programs each week for middle-school students at Francis Hammond and George Washington Middle Schools. We hope to expand in the 23-24 school year to offer programming 4 days per week after school.


During After-School, students explore nearby natural areas such as Dora Kelly Nature Preserve, Huntley Meadows Wetland, Bren Mar Park, Mason District Park and others. While benefiting from this time of outdoor exploration, breathing fresh air, and being off screens, our students also:

  • participate in team-building and trust-building activities,

  • learn about the ecosystems we explore, including their flora and fauna,

  • hone their observational skills through observing nature and through mindfulness activities

  • learn introductory camping skills, such as setting up a tent, hanging a bear bag, or filtering water

  • develop their communication skills among a group of peers and with our staff and volunteers;

  • give back to the community through service projects that include trash collection and native species plantings.

Our 2022-23 Schedule is currently as follows:

Tuesdays 3:15 to 5 p.m.: George Washington MS Students, grades 6 to 8

Wednesdays 3:15 to 5 p.m.: Francis Hammond MS Students in the International Academy, grades 6 to 8

Fridays: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Francis Hammond MS Students in LINK Club. (Programming is on campus)

Students interested in joining our After-School Program should speak to their school counselor at GW Middle School or to the head of International Academy or LINK Club at Francis Hammond.

Banner Photo at Top: Students in 6th and 7th grade at GW Middle School explore Mason District Park. 

Gallery Photos clockwise from top left (click any photo to expand): 7th grade LINK students at Francis Hammond enjoy hot chocolate cooked on a camp stove after learning some basic camping skills; trust falls are just one game Wilderness Kids uses to build a sense of trust and community after school; Hammond students from the International Academy meet a turtle at the Buddie Ford Nature Center; a 7th grade Hammond student warms up in a mummy bag; students give back by planting native species near the Francis Hammond campus; a student traverses a bamboo bridget that the students themselves painstakingly constructed at Dora Kelley; students give back by collecting trash during one after school session. students enjoy traversing the stream at Dora Kelly Nature Preserve.

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