My daughter attended the summer camp and after school program while she transitioned from elementary to middle school. The summer program exposed her to a few unique opportunities (ie. learning about crew/rowing and a trip to NYC), but the rigidity/rudeness/arrogance of some of the staff was extremely off-putting.
I think The House is used to dealing with low income and/or dysfunctional families, so they seemed to carry this "we're saving the world" sense of elitism into every interaction.
At the end of the day, they're offering childcare and after one too many contentious discussions with their staff, we opted for another provider.
Review from Guidestar
My daughter attended The House for a year. She enjoyed the activities they offered. I have rated this organization 1 star because of staff attitudes, and a general lack of communication with parents. Apparently, there was a policy that precluded parents from walking beyond the sign-in/out table. This was never mentioned during the initial interview; and so like many parents, I felt comfortable walking over to where my child was seated to help her pack. I got all sorts of stares, and tension from the staff, yet it was almost as if no one knew how to approach me to voice their concerns. I'm not threatening in demeanor or size (i'm 5'4, 125 lbs). Once a staff member did approach me, she got snippy with me. There was no reason for that...I just needed to be informed/reminded. This is a family-run business. The dad was most consistent..always professional, and seemed genuinely concerned for the kids. The mom was stern, and somewhat overbearing--but my daughter loved her, so I was fine with that. It was the girls that ran the aftercare program that lacked customer service/people skills; and sadly, they were the greeters--the people you mostly interacted with. On another occasion, an older child was able to press the back button on the center's public computer to get into an email that my daughter sent to one of her teachers. The kid then emailed my daughter's teacher, and used the 'N' word; which of course prompted the teacher to email me about 'my child's' behavior. The House did nothing about it. I expected them to have a discussion with the kids about their choice of language, or when a joke goes too far; and how they could've gotten one of their peers in serious trouble. It should have been a teachable moment. It was the perfect opportunity to discuss tolerance, in addition to cyber security; yet, the only thing they were comfortable with was discussing the issue with ME, so I'd remind my 10yr old daughter to properly close her browser window. Nothing was ever said to any other kid there--no diversity talk, standards of behavior, etc. I expected better from a staff of adults who worked in a place with a Christian undertone. It was a very disappointing experience!
The House, Inc. Student Leadership Center is a before/after school program for students in grades 4-12. Before school, students receive breakfast and last minute help with homework. After school, each student has a meal before starting homework, team activities, sports in the gym or group discussions with the President and Founder, Helen McCormick, about character-developing topics and issues. The ultimate goal of The House is to see its students graduate from high school and, when feasible, enroll in college to prepare for a meaningful career. Now in its 10th year, The House has seen 'grads' enroll in numerous regional colleges or universities and some have graduated to enter the world of the employed.
Other of its alum are involved in significant occupations. The House, Inc. is recognized nationally and developed a focused program for schools to involve students in walking and physical activity coupled with healthful eating to offset the nation's childhood obesity epidemic.
Students love The House and look forward to daily attendance. Parents find it equally satisfying and challenging!!