The Mattahunt Community Engagement Process

Mattahunt Leadership Team

The Mattahunt community engagement project was guided by a variety of Mattapan community members, city officials, and Wheelock administrators, faculty members, and graduate students.
See the list of members

See photos of the Planning Committee in action
See photos from the meetings

Wheelock College oversaw an extensive community engagement process to ensure that programming at the new Mattahunt Center would reflect the needs of the surrounding community. The Mattahunt Wheelock College Partnership was designed to build upon Mattapan's strengths, supplement gaps in services, and build the capacity and sustainability of and technical support for the Mattahunt Community Center.

In October 2010, to launch this partnership, Wheelock began working in collaboration with Mattapan residents and organizational leaders, Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the Mattahunt Boys and Girls Clubs, Wheelock faculty, staff and students, elected and appointed officials, and the Mattahunt Elementary School to conduct a comprehensive community engagement and planning project.

Funded in part by the United Way of Mass Bay and Merrimac Valley, the work culminated in Summer 2011 with the release of the Final Report: A Joint Path to Tomorrow. (Download the Executive Summary or the full Final Report.)

The Partnership Model

Working in collaboration with the City and the community, Wheelock is enhancing and expanding opportunities targeting children and youth up to 16 years of age and those who support them. Wheelock will assume several roles in this community-based, integrated program model, including:

  • Leader - utilize our assets and expertise when and where appropriate to achieve the agreed upon goals and outcomes
  • Convener - cultivate and support engagement and partnerships that share like vision, goals, and interests
  • Facilitator - ensure community interests are assessed, understood, and considered
  • Provider - provide direct services and support other organizations and activities within the center and community
  • Learner - be a student of the community
  • Capacity-builder - ensure that programs, practices, and services are designed to improve overall effectiveness
  • Technical support provider - lend expertise and support to others throughout the Mattapan community

Core Components

The Mattahunt Center project includes three essential programming elements: academic achievement; youth leadership and development; and caring adult and family programs and supports.

Academic Achievement: Mattapan community and Mattahunt Elementary School will benefit from this partnership with Wheelock in the following ways:

  • Development and implementation of a recess and physical education model
  • Support and professional development from Wheelock faculty and staff on topics such as math and science education, special needs, language and literacy, and building and supporting college aspirations and expectations
  • College access and success programming for students both during school and afterschool times
  • Additional technology support to enhance instruction and learning both during school hours and afterschool

Youth Leadership and Development: Children and youth in the Mattapan community may receive support and encouragement in the following areas:

  • Character Development
  • Sports-Based Youth Development
  • Life Skills and Competencies
  • College Planning
  • Technology and Media Literacy

Caring Adult and Family Programs and Supports: Parents, families and other adults in the Mattapan community who support children and youth in the community mayreceive:

  • Intergenerational and Cultural Programming
  • Academic Achievement Support
  • College and Career Planning
  • Youth Sports and Coaches Training

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