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Boys Town North Florida ART Town Academy Adds Afterschool Programs

Music Group

​Throughout the fall of 2020 and continuing today, Boys Town North Florida's ART Town facility has transformed into a fully functioning school, including supplemental tutoring through in-person and virtual volunteers, an array of afterschool clubs and an active Student Government Association. As the students on campus adjusted to attending virtual school, supports were put into place to ensure all our students would be academically successful and engaged in the school day. By the end of the fall semester, there were five volunteer led electives that met weekly with the students enrolled in that group. To ensure students had activities to interest them, there was a diverse set of clubs such as music, physical education, foreign language and culture, art and a debate team. Students appreciated the opportunity to learn and engage in these educational clubs and enjoyed connecting with the volunteers from Florida State University. Campus bustles today as after school activities have resumed with a renewed interest in learning and growth. Continue reading for program details and how you can help!


In person -- Twice a week, volunteers from the Florida State University community come to ART Town Academy to provide homework help and tutoring to our Family Home students. All volunteers are equipped with proper PPE and have learned how to effectively work with the child while maintaining a safe social distance.

Virtual tutors -- Boys Town North Florida is partnered with Florida State University's Center for Leadership and Social Change. Each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 4 to 6 pm, virtual volunteers are paired with students to assist in tutoring and understanding homework. Often, student volunteers are paired with recurrent students who are struggling to maintain their grades and thus begins a mentoring partnership for students. Students look forward to meeting with their assigned tutor over Zoom and productively work to complete and understand any underperforming school assignments.

After School Electives:

Music: Students meet weekly on Mondays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm to complete structured musical activities with a student volunteer from Florida State University. Some fun projects include students creating a homemade plastic straw pan-flute that when blown into created a variety of pitched notes and sounds. The students love coming to music knowing a fun, music-related activity is always awaiting them.

Debate: Students meet weekly on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm to learn more regarding the rules and structures of debating and engage in short “mock debates." Students form small teams and debate with the opposing team surrounding worldly topics such as climate change. The student volunteer who leads our Boys Town debate group currently serves as the President of the Florida State University's Debate Club.

Physical Education: Students meet weekly on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm with Family-Teacher Jason Browning to engage in physical activity on our Family Home campus. Each week, Jason leads the students in a variety of sports and activities such as soccer, basketball, volleyball and more. After a long day of staying indoors and completing schoolwork through a computer screen, this is a necessary release for some of our students.

culture-group.jpgForeign Language and Culture: Students meet weekly on Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm with FSU student volunteers along with Family Home Staff (FHP Consultant Destiny Story and Educational Assistant Giulia DeMello) to learn more regarding world cultures and languages. Students have the opportunity to try foods from diverse cultures and become familiar with various cultural items such as clothing, language and lifestyle.

Art: Students meet weekly on Fridays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm to complete various arts and craft projects with an FSU student volunteer. At art club, student participants have completed projects with multiple mediums such as watercolor paint, acrylic paint, crayons, markers and oil pastels. One project the students enjoyed the week before Thanksgiving was creating a turkey-themed bookmark.

Student Government Association:

To encourage leadership development and promote a greater sense of unity, respect, spirit and cooperation among peers, a Student Government Association was formed. Each of the five homes has an elected representative led by a President and a Vice President.

HOW YOU CAN HELP - the following items are currently being requested to enhance the ART Town Academy After School Program. Donations may be taken to our corporate office at 3555 Commonwealth Blvd. For more questions call Director of Development Margaret Farris at 850.504.5007 or 850.321.5346.

  • Musical instruments
  • Art Supplies
  • Language tutorials – audio or written
  • Sports Equipment
  • E-Readers
  • STEM supplies/kits
  • Funding for Field Trips​