NorthStar Learning Centers
Address: 53 Linden Street, New Bedford, MA 02740
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm
Executive Director: Maria A. Rosario
Provide individualized, strength-based, family-focused programs that help children, youth, and families realize their strengths and dreams.
We operate two nationally accredited child development centers that provide full day, year-round early education and care for children 1 month old up to when they go to kindergarten. Our centers offer safe learning environments and curricula that promote children’s cognitive, language, social, emotional, and physical development. NorthStar was recently recognized by Root Cause/Social Impact Research as one of 21 Recommended High Performing School Readiness Organizations in Massachusetts, selected from over 400 “school readiness” programs.
Keeping children aged 5-12 safe and supervised after school and during school vacations, our SCHOONER program, which is also accredited by the Council on Accreditation, provides homework assistance, academic enrichment, computer learning, outdoor physical activities, arts programs, and family engagement.
NorthStar Mental Health Clinic strives to improve the lives of people with mental health challenges in an individualized and holistic way. NorthStar has played a key role in defining and promoting culturally competent programs and services in New Bedford and across Southeastern Massachusetts. Our organization’s philosophy of care reflects values that children, youth and adult wellness and trauma recovery are more likely to occur where programs and services use knowledge and skills that are culturally competent and consistent with the backgrounds of youth, their families and communities.
Family Actualization Support & Empowerment (FASE): provides case management, mentoring, advocacy, and support to DCF-involved families to prevent out of home placements and keep families together. Additionally, we stabilize foster youth placements and, where possible, assist their return to their biological or adoptive families.
Kinship Care/Reunification Support: offers four components based on family needs and service goals: Rapid Placement of Children with Kin, Intensive Kinship Caregiver/Family Support, Rapid Reunification, and Parent Support.
Supervised Family Visitation: Offers a safe, homelike, monitored environment where families can maintain connections, improve relationships, and embark on a healthy reunification process with their children.
Through school-community partnerships, we create afterschool opportunities for children and youth to achieve academically, socially, emotionally, vocationally, civically, and physically.
Tying on Success (TOS) Program: For the Roosevelt Middle School boys in TOS, wearing a necktie is a rite of passage into responsible manhood and an example of the ways in which they can express their identity. Focusing on improving participants’ self-esteem, social skills, and grades, this mentoring program helps struggling, violence-prone boys become part of the solution to the concentrated violence
Leading Senoritas Program: Offered at Roosevelt Middle School, Leading Senoritas teaches young at-risk female students skills to know and appreciate who they are, connect with and achieve in school, recognize and forge healthy relationships, and become leaders in school and community change. Exploring what it means to be a woman and options on how to show up in the world, Leading Senoritas helps all participants to reach their true potential despite any negative influences they may have had in the past. (Afterschool)
Accelerated English Language Learner Program: Offered at the New Bedford High School for English Language Learners (ELL) promote student participant pride in their personal abilities, culture identities, and to prepare them to fully participate in school and society. Our wraparound case manager helps students to develop their personal interests, goals, and abilities; while addressing the social-emotional barriers they are facing. (Afterschool and Summer)
Young Adult Program: The HEAL Center, supported by a Department of Public Health grant, addresses gun violence intervention and prevention in the City of New Bedford with 17-24 year-olds through a trauma and mental health lens. We provide intensive, culturally responsive, trauma-informed prevention and intervention services including, wraparound care and mental/behavioral health support. The HEAL Center is strategically neighborhood-based and functions as a community mobilization and healing space. Our Sankofa Day Program is an engaging curriculum that aims to empower young adults to begin healing and recovering from community violence. The HEAL Center intends to guide New Bedford youth in exercising their own voice and power by embracing their strengths and leadership abilities. With a transformative approach, our participants’ challenges and struggles serve as steppingstones to creating a more resilient, caring, and just city.
Professional Development: Besides training our own staff, we offer professional development training to schools and other service providers on a range of critical issues, including the prevalence and impact of trauma and the need to provide trauma-informed care at all developmental stages.
Environmental Justice: NorthStar has partnered with the Boston University School of Public Health in conducting and communicating research on the effects of New Bedford residents’ exposures to hazardous waste. NorthStar has helped identify important social and cultural variables and interpret research findings.