Afterschool: Fortress After School is one of our longest-running programs, getting its start as Fortress Literacy Center in 2005. Since its inaugural year serving 12 students, it has grown to an enrollment of 85 kids in PreK3-5th grade. Our students come from Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary, conveniently located just two blocks from Fortress.
Preschool: After years of operating with a waiting list of 40+, Fortress opened a licensed, full-time preschool in 2016 and currently enrolls 60 children ages 3 months-4 years.
Summer: Operating for six weeks each year, Fortress Summer serves approximately 100 kids from ages 1-11 (all students enrolled in the previous year’s after school and preschool programs are eligible to enroll). The program is facilitated by Fortress staff and energized by the addition of dozens of weekly volunteers from local and traveling church youth groups
Ignite: Ignite is the mentoring program at Fortress. Launched in 2009 with a single volunteer, Ignite now matches 100% of our After-School students in grades 1-5. Ignite is the only Fortress program entirely powered by volunteers, welcoming over 50 volunteers a year who invest one hour a week with their mentee.
Equip: Equip requires each family to invest a minimum of 12 hours each year back into the Fortress programs. Research tells us that parent involvement is an indicator of future success for students in low-income households, and our goal is to empower our parents to become more involved in their child’s academic and social-emotional growth, and to discover opportunities for growth in themselves.