Sequoia Healthy Start

Sequoia Healthy Start (SHS) is a program provided by the East Bay Agency for Children (EBAC), in collaboration with community members, parents, teachers and administrators. Together, we have provided educational and family support services at Sequoia Elementary School since 2000.

SHS exposes students to a variety of academic and enrichment activities, carried out in a safe and supportive environment. We support and encourage students to use their voice, build their character, and connect with their communities.

Hear Sequoia Healthy Start program director Reka Lal talk about the program:

After-school program

We offer both a full-time and a part-time after-school program:

  • The full-time program includes both academic and enrichment programs. Students must attend five days a week for three hours per day. The program is open to students in 1st – 5th grades. A separate kindergarten program is also available.
  • The part-time program offers enrichment programs only. Students must attend five days a week for 1.5 hours per day (until 4:30 p.m.). The program is open to students in 3rd – 5th grades only.

Enrollment in the Healthy Start After-School program is open to students in K through 5th grades and is filled based on our priority list: academic need, social and/or emotional need, and students who need to be engaged in learning. There are limited spots in each of the grades. Students not accepted into the program will automatically be placed onto our waiting list. Wait-listed students will be moved into the Healthy Start Program as soon as space is available.

Academic support

The goal of the academic support component is to create an environment where students can have fun writing and see themselves as successful writers. Students are divided into grade-level classes and work with an academic instructor for an entire school year on various writing projects. The writing projects are closely aligned with the school-day writing goals and California state Standards. The academic instructors are supported by our academic liaison who is a school-day teacher. The academic liaison ensures that the Healthy Start program is connected and academically aligned to Sequoia School. Academic instructors send home progress reports (distributed with student report cards) and meet with the students’ school-day teachers throughout the year. Students also have time to work on their homework. However, due to time constraints, we cannot guarantee homework completion.

Enrichment activities

The goal of the enrichment activities is to expose students to a variety of classes, opportunities and to support their individual interests. The enrichment component is divided into lower grade (through 2nd grade) and upper grade (3rd-5th) tracks. The lower-grade students participate in enrichment activities such as arts and crafts, team-building, Legos, music and gardening. The upper-grade students participate in enrichment activities such as boys’ and girls’ recreation, Spanish, Legos, life skills, music, needlecrafts, visual arts, gardening, science, nutrition and service learning.

Upper-grade students request the classes they want to participate in. The upper-grade classes are a mixed group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. These students rotate enrichment classes two times per year.

Family engagement

The Sequoia Healthy Start Program hosts family educational workshops throughout each school year. The workshops are centered on parent/guardian needs and consist of topics selected by our parents/guardians. Some ideas for topics are nutrition, saving for college, homework help and summer camps. We are open to topic ideas from the community.

The workshops are open to the entire Sequoia community and will take place 6-7:30 p.m. so that families can attend. A light dinner will be provided. There will be childcare provided for the students older than 5, who will participate in their own workshop on the same topic.